Consultants who perform this procedure
Why would I need a breast MRI?
Typically, a breast MRI is used when the breast tissue is particularly dense or not enough information has been obtained from a mammogram or an ultrasound scan.
The breast MRI can be done if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer or if you are at a high risk of developing breast cancer (e.g. if there is a history of it in your family).
How is a breast MRI performed?
A breast MRI can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes and is carried out as an outpatient case.
During the exam, you will lie face down with your arms up on a bed that slides into the MRI machine. You might be injected with dye to help illuminate your internal organs.
Once inside, the MRI machine will take several pictures that can be examined by the radiologist.
What is the recovery for a breast MRI?
There is no real recovery from a breast MRI, as it is a very safe and simple procedure. You should be able to resume your normal day-to-day activities as soon as the exam is over.
If you have any questions about what you can expect after your breast MRI, you should discuss them with your specialist.
Are there any risks/complications associated with a breast MRI?
A breast MRI is a fairly low-risk procedure, but there are possible complications, including:
- Having an allergic reaction to the dye
- Bruising or swelling in the spot where the dye was injected
- If you have implanted medical devices, they might malfunction due to the magnetics
- Receiving a false-positive result
If you do experience anything after your breast MRI that is giving you cause for concern, you should speak to your specialist.
How can I prepare for a breast MRI?
Prior to undergoing a breast MRI, you will need to inform your specialist about any previous operations that you have had or any medical implants that you have, as it is possible that the implants could be affected by the exam.
You should also let your healthcare team know if you are pregnant or think you might be.
Your specialist will advise you of any other specific preparations that you should make in advance of your breast MRI.
Are there alternatives for a breast MRI?
A breast MRI is a highly effective exam, but there are other procedures you might undergo in addition to it, including breast ultrasounds, mammograms, or biopsies.