How It Is Done continued...
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
During the test, you will lie on
your stomach on a table that is part of the MRI scanner. Straps may be used
to help keep your body in the best position. The table will slide into the
machine part that holds the magnet. A device called a coil may be placed over
or wrapped around the breast area.
the scanner, you will hear a fan and feel air moving. You may also hear tapping
or thumping noises as the MRI scans are taken. You may be given earplugs or
headphones with music to lessen the noise. It is very important to hold
completely still while the scan is being done. Otherwise, repeat scans may be
needed. Also, you may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of
During the test, you may be alone in the scanner room. But
the technologist will watch you through a window, and you will be able to talk
to him or her through a speaker.
If contrast material is needed,
the technologist will put it in a vein (intravenous, or IV) in your arm. The contrast material may be given over 1 to 2 minutes.
Then more MRI scans are taken.
An MRI test usually takes 30 to 60
minutes but may last as long as 2 hours.
How It Feels
You will not have pain from the magnetic
field or radio waves. The table you lie on may feel hard and the room may be
cool. You may become uncomfortable from lying in one position for a long
Some people feel anxious (claustrophobic) inside the MRI
machine. You may be given medicine (sedative) to help you relax.
If dye is used, you may feel some coolness and
flushing as it is put into your vein.
In rare cases, you may
- A tingling sensation in your mouth if you have
metal dental fillings.
- Warmth in the breast. This is normal and
does not need treatment unless it becomes bothersome. Tell the technologist if
- Have any breathing
- Feel sick to your stomach.
- Have a
- Feel dizzy.
- Have pain.
- Feel a
- Have itchy skin.
There are no known harmful effects from the
strong magnetic field used for MRI. But the magnet is very powerful. The magnet
may affect pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs),
artificial limbs, and other medical devices that contain iron.