MRI Guided Breast Biopsy

mri-magnetom-skyraIn MRI-guided breast biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging is used to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.

Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous.

When the lesion is too small to be felt by hand, your doctor may recommend an image-guided needle biopsy. It is not designed to remove the entire lesion, but rather to examine the cells gathered underneath a microscope to help determine a diagnosis.


What to Expect

How is a fine-needle aspiration done?

Your doctor will wipe the area with rubbing alcohol or iodine. In most cases, you will receive an injection of local anesthetic to numb the area of your breast where the needle will be inserted. Your doctor will hold the lump steady with one hand and insert a thin needle (attached to a syringe) into the lump. He or she may move the needle in and out of the area to make sure to get enough tissue or fluid for the biopsy. Then he or she pulls on the plunger of the syringe to remove the tissue or fluid. The process takes a few seconds to a few minutes.

If the doctor cannot easily feel the mass, you may have an imaging test, such as a CT scan, ultrasound test, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or mammography to see where to put the needle. If the lump is a cyst, the fluid is removed.

How will it feel?

If you receive a local anesthetic, you may feel a brief sting when it is injected. You also may feel some pressure when the biopsy needle is inserted. The amount of discomfort will depend on how much pain you feel from needles and the part of your body involved. The site of the fine-needle aspiration may be sore for a couple of days, and you may have a bruise. You should be able to return to work the same day or the next day.

What happens afterward?

Your doctor will apply pressure to the aspiration site to prevent bleeding and put an adhesive bandage on it. He or she may recommend that you take a mild pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) if you have discomfort when you get home. Keep the area dry for 24 hours.

Contact your doctor if you have bleeding, redness, swelling, or a fever of more than 100.5F over the next couple of days

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.