Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Breast
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor and the MRI
technologist if you:
- Have a
implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD),
artificial limb, any metal parts in your body, tattooed eyeliner or
metallic-based tattoos, or any other implanted medical device, such as a
medicine infusion pump. Also, tell your doctor if you have worked around
metal or if you have recently had surgery on a blood vessel. In some cases you
may not be able to have the MRI test.
- Are or might be
- Become very nervous in confined spaces. You need to lie
very still inside the MRI scanner, so you may need to have the test done with
an open MRI machine that is not as confining as standard MRI machines, or you
may need medicine to help you relax.
- Have allergies, especially to
- Wear any medicine patches. The MRI
may cause a burn at the patch site.
- Have other health problems, such as kidney problems or
sickle cell anemia. Contrast material cannot be used
with some health problems.
Arrange to have someone take you home after the test in
case you are given a medicine (sedative) to help you relax.
You may need to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of
an MRI and agree to have the test done. Talk to your doctor about any concerns
you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or
what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test,
fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
An MRI of the breast is usually done by
an MRI technologist. A
radiologist usually studies the pictures to look for
problems. But some other types of doctors may also do this.
Before the test
You will need to remove all metal
objects (such as hearing aids, dentures, jewelry, watches, and hairpins) from
your body because these objects may be attracted to the powerful magnet used
for the test. If there is a possibility that you have metal fragments in your
eyes from an accident or a surgery or because you work around metal, an X-ray
or a CT scan will be done before the MRI to see if any metal is present. An
X-ray or CT may also be done if there is a concern about metal fragments in
your head or spine.
You will need to take off your clothes above
the waist. You will be given a gown to cover your shoulders during the test.
Empty your pockets of any coins and cards (such as credit cards or ATM cards)
with scanner strips on them because the MRI magnet may erase the information on
During the test