Breast MRI

Women considered to be at “high risk” for breast cancer may be advised to have a breast MRI. This highly sensitive test is an excellent screening option to achieve earlier detection, when used as an adjunctive test to mammography. It is also used as a diagnostic test to evaluate or confirm a finding, for pre-surgical planning or to check the integrity of breast implants to help determine if they have ruptured and need to be replaced or removed.

Magnetic resonance imaging uses a computer, magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the breast without needing to “compress” the breast. It does not use any form of ionizing radiation, so no special preparation is needed. You may eat normally and take your regular medication. Please wear comfortable clothing, like sweats. Clothing with zippers, metal buttons or snaps cannot be worn. This includes underwire bras as well. If needed, a cotton dressing gown will be available for you to use.

breast mri

When preparing for a breast MRI

Because of the potentially harmful effects associated with all metallic objects in a magnetic field, you should check with your physician or MRI technologist if you have:

  • Pacemaker
  • Ear implants
  • Surgical staples
  • Neuro-stimulator
  • Aneurysm clip(s)
  • Implanted drug infusion devices
  • Worked as a welder or grinder of metal

With some examinations, an injection into a vein is required. The MRI technologist will explain the procedure further is your exam requires this.

If you are pregnant, please tell your doctor or a patient representative before your test.