Breast MRI Explained
Traditionally, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) produces images of organs and soft tissue throughout the body using magnetic fields and radio frequency waves. It occasionally requires an intravenous injection of contrast medium into a vein, to create clearer images.
It is now becoming a well established imaging tool for the breast, in addition to mammography and breast ultrasound.
If you are a;
Patient at high risk of breast cancer or
Patient with newly diagnosed breast cancer or
Patient with unresolved suspicious areas on other imaging or
Patients with suspected rupture of breast implants or
Patients with cancer in axillary lymph nodes, with an unknown primary tumour,
Then breast MRI may be helpful for you.
Please advise us
If you have any metal implants of any kind, eg joint replacements.
If you have a pacemaker or neurostimulator implanted.
If you have worked with metal.
If you have renal impairment.
If you have significant claustrophobia.
If you are or may be pregnant.
If you have had any reaction to a contrast injection given for a previous MRI scan.
We will ask you to complete a questionnaire before the examination, and sign a consent to the contrast injection if it is required for your examination.
Please bring your referral, Medicare and Pension Health Care Cards with any previous imaging relating to the region being scanned.
No preparation required.
What happens during the procedure
You will lay face-down for about 40 minutes in an MRI unit. An intravenous injection of intravenous gadolinium is given to highlight blood vessels. Analysis of images can sometimes be complex, and usually 2 radiologists report the studies.
During the scan, the breast is constrained but not compressed as it is in mammography. However, it is important that you remain quite still.
How long does it takeA breast MRI takes approx 40-50 minutes.
After Your Examination
There are no restrictions after having a breast MRI.
Your images and report
After your examination, you will be given a copy of the most pertinent images from your study. A report will be given to you with the images, or sent directly back to your referring doctor by fax or email. PRP will store digital copies of all studies on our secure database for comparison with any future examinations.
Please bring any previous images with you for comparison.
It is important that you return to your doctor with your examination results. Whether they are normal or abnormal, your doctor needs to know promptly so that a management plan can be formulated.
Allergic reactions to contrast material can occur but significant reactions are rare, and generally respond to adrenalin. Our staff members are equipped and trained to treat contrast reactions. Some scans create a slight sensation of heating. There are no adverse effects to the magnetic fields or radio waves used to generate the images.
Special instructions for diabetics
If your examination requires fasting, then book an early morning appointment and have your breakfast and diabetic medication after the examination.
If your examination will require an intravenous injection of contrast medium, we need to know your renal function. Please bring along the results of your most recent blood test creatinine level.
This content is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you would like any clarifications, please contact your local practice.