Breast MRI

Cross-sectional MRI view of the breasts

Breast MRI uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to look specifically at the breast.

It is a non-invasive procedure that doctors can use to determine what the inside of the breast looks like without having to do surgery or flatten the breast (as in a mammogram).

Each exam produces hundreds of images of the breast, cross-sectional in all three directions (side-to-side, top-to-bottom, front-to-back), which are then read by a radiologist. No radiation is involved, and the technique is believed to have no health hazards in general.

The hope is that such non-invasive studies will contribute to our progress in learning how to predict the behavior of tumors and in selecting proper treatments. Breast MRI is an evolving technology and should not replace standard screening and diagnostic procedures (clinical and self exams, mammogram, fine needle aspiration or biopsy). This procedure can be helpful for getting a second opinion, or another look at the breast.

What to Expect

What should I expect during the exam?

Due to the sophisticated technology utilized at Sand Lake Imaging, the exam typically takes 10-15 minutes rather than the standard 30-45 minutes. First, patients must change into a hospital gown. Then, an IV is inserted into the arm. The patient will lie face down on a table, where the breasts are positioned into cup-like indentations on the table (breast coil). The table is then moved into the MRI machine. The patient will need to lie very still as images are taken.

After the exam is complete, the images will be analyzed and interpreted by our radiologists. The results will not be available immediately following the exam. The physician will be contacted with the results.


How to Prepare

If you have a pacemaker or some types of aneurysm clips, you are prohibited from having an MRI. If you are claustrophobic or anxious about your MRI exam, don’t worry. We can provide you with medication that will make you very comfortable during the exam. However, you will need someone to drive you home. The breast MRI should be scheduled between day 5 and 15 of your menstruation cycle. Avoid wearing jewelry, as it may interfere with the exam. If you have hearing aids, you will be asked to remove them before your procedure.

Equipment Used for This Procedure

Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra 3T MRI

The Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra 3T MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine has a magnetic field of 3 Tesla (3 T). Most MRI Machines fall within the range of 1.5 - 3 T. The higher magnetic field, the more accurate imaging capabilities. This machine can be used for many different medical purposes including Oncology, Neurology, Cardiology, and Angiography.