What Is a Breast MRI?

MR imaging uses a magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of your breast. MRI does not use radiation. Your doctor will likely order this exam for implant integrity evaluation, assessment of newly diagnosed breast cancer or post lumpectomy, specialized follow up, or evaluation of very high-risk patients. Breast imaging begins with mammogram and ultrasound, and in specific instances, MRI can be offered.

Because your comfort is important to us, we provide music headsets as well as blankets to make your experience more comfortable. Our knowledgeable, professional team will put you at ease and answer all of your questions before the exam.

What Happens During The Test?

Our technologist will take a brief medical history. You will be asked to lie down on your stomach on the scanning table, where your breasts will hang into cushioned openings. The table will then slide into the scanning area. During the test, the MRI will make a rapid tapping noise. Just relax and remain still. Initial images will be obtained, and then contrast material will be injected into a vein in your arm. After injection, additional images will be taken.

You should plan 60 to 90 minutes of total clinic time. The scan typically takes 30 to 60 minutes. You may return to normal activities following your exam.

How Do I Prepare for the Test?

Typically, no preparation is required before the exam. Because breast MRI requires a contrast injection, a current creatinine test (within 45 days) is required. The creatinine test is a blood draw to evaluate your kidney function and will normally be performed at your physician’s office or lab prior to the exam. No fasting is necessary. You will need to remove all jewelry, hairclips, and bobby pins. In addition, you will need to remove your bra and any clothing containing metal. You will be provided a gown and a secure locker in which you can place valuables.

When Can I Expect the Results?

A radiologist will review the images and send a report to your referring physician within one business day. Your doctor will review the report and contact you with the results.

What Contradictions Should I Be Aware Of?

If you are pregnant, have had an aneurysm clip, have had ear or eye prosthesis, or have a pacemaker, you may not be a candidate for an MRI. Because this exam requires an injection of intravenous (IV) contrast, please inform your doctor if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or past or current renal insufficiency or acute vascular disease.

Do You Have Questions Regarding Your Test?

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* The safety of our patients and those who accompany them to our office is of the utmost importance to the physicians and staff at Iowa Radiology. Please make arrangements for someone to care for your child/children during your exam. Thank you for your cooperation.

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