What is it?
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the breast does not use X-ray radiation. It instead uses a powerful magnetic system to make images of the breast. It can create dozens or sometimes hundreds of images in a short time. It is sometimes done in conjunction with an ultrasound or mammogram. A breast MRI is done to check for cancer and evaluate tumors and lumps.
What is it for?
It is sometimes done in conjunction with an ultrasound or mammogram. A breast MRI is done to check for cancer and evaluate tumors and lumps.
How to prepare
- You will be given instructions about what to eat and drink prior to the procedure
- Talk to your health care provider about your medical history, current medical condition, medicines you are taking and any allergies you have
- You will be asked if you have any implanted medical devices. Implanted medical devices can malfunction or cause problems during an MRI.
- An allergic reaction may occur from the use of a contrast material (dye)
- The strong magnetic fields can cause pacemakers and other implants to malfunction
- Metal inside your body may be moved or shifted slightly because of the magnetic fields
- An MRI is not recommended if you are pregnant, as it can cause a harmful increase in the temperature of the amniotic fluid
What happens during?
- You may be given a sedative to help you relax
- If a contrast material is used, an I.V. will be started in your hand or arm. Contrast material assists in seeing precise imaging pictures.
- You will lie face down on a mobile bed with your breasts placed on cushioned openings. The bed is transported into the MRI machine. Pillows or straps will be used to keep you still. Limiting your movement is important to getting the most precise images.
- The technologist is in a separate room but you will be in sight of the technologist and be able to communicate.
- You may feel some side effects from the contrast material dye. These include coldness, feeling flush, headache, itching, nausea or a salty or metal-like taste in your mouth. These side effects should subside after a short amount of time.
- Your breasts may feel warm but this is normal for the procedure
- Once the scan is finished, the mobile bed is moved out of the MRI machine
- The I.V. is removed
What happens after?
- If sedatives were used to help you relax, you will be required to rest until the sedatives have worn off
- You will be checked for an allergic reaction from the contrast material
- Nursing mothers may choose to refrain from breastfeeding for 12 to 14 hours after the MRI with contrast
- You can usually resume your normal diet and activities after returning home
- You should notify your health care provider if there is any pain, redness or swelling at the I.V. site. This could be an infection caused by the I.V.