Breast MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the safest and accurate diagnostic imaging studies available. Using a strong magnetic field, radiofrequency waves and an advanced image processing computer, high resolution images of the breasts are obtained. A breast MRI is often performed for patients who have had an abnormal mammogram, a strong family history of breast cancer, discovered a palpable mass or have breast implants that interfere with receiving a standard mammogram. A bilateral MRI breast study is indicated for mastectomy patients to allow the radiologist to evaluate the lymph nodes, chest wall, residual tissue and post surgical changes.

Technology / Equipment

GE MRI Optima 360 1.5T system

Exam Preparations

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You will be asked to change into a gown prior to your MRI study.

Patient Experience

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil may be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI. You will be able to speak to the MRI technologist over an intercom.

MRI scanners make a distinctive knocking and buzzing sound as it acquires images. These sounds are normal and may last a few minutes. Some patients request ear plugs or you may prefer to wear headphones. We have a variety of music choices you can select from or you may bring a MP3 player and ask the technologist to play it for you.

Most MRI studies require an IV injected contrast agent called gadolinium to help the radiologist visualize certain tissue or blood vessels. Some patients describe a metallic taste or tingling sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

After The Exam

Once the exam is completed, the images are analyzed by a board certified radiologist who generates a diagnostic report outlining the findings. This report is then sent to your physician within 24 hours (unless there are studies performed at an outside facility that the radiologist will need for comparison). Your physician will consider the radiologist's interpretation of your scan in the context of your overall care.

At MDI, we proudly offer personal consultations with a radiologist to discuss the findings of your breast MRI. You may opt to wait at our facility to directly speak with the radiologist or you may request that the radiologist call you with the results when available.

Further Information

If you would like additional information on this procedure, we recommend visiting the MRI section of RadiologyInfo.org.

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