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Defining Breast MRI

By DuPage Medical Group Radiology

What is a Diagnostic MRI of the Breast?

A diagnostic breast MRI is used to image the breasts in more detail and is only done after a mammogram and (sometimes) breast ultrasound have been completed.

Things to Know

The total appointment will require about one hour and is always done of both breasts. A breast MRI requires the injection of a contrast material through a vein in the arm and will necessitate an IV be started. Breast MRI is a safe procedure and uses no radiation, however there is the possibility of mild side effects or reaction to the contrast material.

The Procedure

When having a breast MRI, you will be asked to undress from the waist up and remove any other clothing that contains metal such as snaps or zippers as well as jewelry and hair clips or pins. An IV will be started in your arm in order to inject contrast at the appropriate time. Lying on your stomach, your breasts will be guided into an opening in the coil used to image them. Headphones may be provided to listen to music during the exam. You will be moved inside the MR scanner and you will be asked to remain perfectly still while a number of scans will be performed including the injection of the contrast material through the IV in your arm. After that scan, the table will be moved back out of the scanner and the IV removed from your arm. You will then be able to get dressed and go home.

Topics and Subtopics: Diagnostic Testing, Radiology & Women's Health

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