Breast MRI

Breast MRI

Women’s Center for Breast Health    Nationally Accredited by the NAPBC 
For Breast MRI:  203-789-4120

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a painless test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create an image on a computer monitor.  This test is used as an adjunct to mammography and ultrasound in evaluating breast disease.
Some of the current uses for MRI include:

  • Screening for women with genetic mutations (i.e., BRCA1/BRCA2)
  • To evaluate the integrity of breast implants
  • To further evaluate patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer
  • To determine the effect of chemotherapy

An important part of the MRI is comparing the breast tissue before and after the injection of contrast material.  If you have severe claustrophobia, you may ask your physician for a mild sedative. Before your MRI, you will need a blood test to make sure your kidney function is normal and contrast can be injected safely.  Your exam should be scheduled just after your menstrual period.  Inform the technologist if you have any implants, including heart valves, infusion catheters, IUDs, joint prostheses, and pacemakers, or if you may be pregnant. 

Leave all jewelry, watches, zippers, removable dental work, and credit cards outside of the exam room.  For a breast MRI, you will be positioned with your face down with your breast hanging into cushioned openings which are surrounded by a breast coil.  An IV will be inserted and contrast administered.  The table will slide into the magnet and the imaging session will begin and usually lasts approximately 30 minutes.  You may hear tapping or thumping noises when the coils are turned on; it is important to remain still during that time.  You will be alone in the room during the images, but the technologist will be able to see you.  You can resume normal activities and diet after your MRI.  It may take some time to interpret the images after your MRI.


Page last updated on Jan. 29, 2010