Day Kimball Healthcare

Breast MRI Frequently Asked Questions

 

Breast MRI

Offered at Day Kimball Hospital.

Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a powerful diagnostic tool that can detect very small cancers that mammograms overlook. While mammography remains the standard in screening for breast cancer, it can miss up to 40 percent of cancers in women with dense breast tissue.

According to the American Cancer Society, combining the two tests gives doctors a better chance of finding breast cancer early in high-risk women, when it's easier to treat and the chance of survival is greatest.

For more information about Breast MRI exams, view the Breast MRI Frequently Asked Questions. You may also visit WebMD.com and search "Breast MRI."


Breast MRI FAQs

 

What is Breast MRI?

Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a powerful diagnostic tool used for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.

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What are the benefits of having a Breast MRI performed?

Breast MRI can detect very small cancers that mammograms overlook. While mammography remains the standard in screening for breast cancer, it can miss up to 40 percent of cancers in women with dense breast tissue.

According to the American Cancer Society, combining the two tests gives doctors a better chance of finding breast cancer early in high-risk women, when it's easier to treat and the chance of survival is greatest.

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How should I prepare for a Breast MRI exam?

Please review our preparation guidelines before your exam.

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What should I expect during the exam?

A radiological technologist under the supervision of a radiologist (a doctor who assists in your medical diagnosis by interpreting X-rays and scans) will perform your scan.

Upon arriving for your appointment, you'll be greeted by a receptionist and asked a series of questions. Once in the scan room, the technologist will ask you to lie face down on the MRI table, where you will place your breasts into a cut-out, cushioned area.

A series of pictures will be taken, then you will receive an injection of a contrast agent called gadolinium. (Unlike contrast agents used in other radiology studies, gadolinium does not contain iodine and therefore rarely causes allergic reactions or side effects.)

Immediately after the injection, a matching series of pictures will be taken. These images (with contrast) will be compared to the images without contrast. For this reason, you must remain in the same position throughout the entire exam.

When the MRI scan begins, you will hear a muffled thumping sound that will last for several minutes. (This is when the scanner takes its pictures.) You may also feel a slight vibration, which is normal. Just relax - even take a nap - but you must lie as still as possible since any movement can distort the image.

Other than sound and a slight vibration, you should experience no other sensation during scanning. When scanning is complete, the technologist will return to help you off the table.

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How long will the scan take?

The average Breast MRI scan takes about 45 minutes.

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What should I expect after the exam?

Once your scan is complete, you may resume normal activities and diet.

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How do I find out the results?

Your referring physician will receive the results within 24 hours and will then contact you to discuss the findings. Your doctor can make arrangements with us if your results are needed urgently.

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