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Preparing for a Diagnostic Breast MRI

When scheduling your procedure, you will be asked a number of questions by the scheduler pertaining to:

  • anything that may or could be implanted in your body
  • any surgeries that you may have had previously:
  • if you are diabetic
  • if you have have had any allergic reactions to medications or medical imaging contrasts
  • the possibility of pregnancy
  • the date of your last menstrual cycle

These are all important questions that help the scheduler in setting up the best appointment time for you and are also used to screen you for anything that could be potentially contraindicative to putting you into the strong magnetic field that is used in performing your MRI exam. The information you give the scheduler is kept confidential and becomes a part of your medical record. 

Unless you have already been diagnosed with breast cancer or are no longer of child-bearing age, your appointment will be made so that it is performed between day five (5) and day ten (10) of your menstrual cycle to reduce the effects of certain hormones which can cause the breast tissue to enhance creating what is called a false positive exam. 

Once you have been scheduled, you will be asked to bring in any recent mammograms and breast ultrasounds you have had if they were not performed at DuPage Medical Group. The radiologist will require these in order to make direct comparisons when reading your MRI. If you have not had a recent mammogram, you will be required to have one and it can be scheduled for the same day as your MRI.

The MRI appointment time will require about one (1) hour and the exam is always done of both breasts. A Diagnostic Breast MRI requires the injection of a contrast material through a vein in an arm and will necessitate starting an IV. You will be instructed to hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of fluids the day of your exam. You will also be instructed to keep yourself well hydrated after your exam has been completed in order to flush the injected contrast material completely out of your system as it travels from your bloodstream into your kidneys and then exits colorlessly through your urine.

After you arrive:

  • You will be asked to review the screening questions asked during the scheduling process to make sure all answers are marked accurately.
  • You will also be asked to fill out a couple of additional forms that give both the technologist performing the exam as well as the radiologist reading your exam specific details about you and your medical history. This helps make your exam as accurate as possible. 
  • You will be asked to undress and will be given a gown to wear with instructions to put it on so that it opens in the front.
  • You will also be asked to remove any other clothing that contains metal such as snaps or zippers as well as jewelry and hair clips or pins, so it is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing.
  • An IV will be started in your arm in order to inject contrast at the appropriate time.

Once the exam is completed and the IV removed from your arm, you will be able to get dressed and go about your day as normal, with no restrictions.