Breast MRI is a supplement for mammographic and ultrasound imaging of the breasts. Though it is a better test for some very specific questions, it does not replace a mammogram or breast ultrasound. This test uses magnets and radio waves to produce pictures of your breasts. The standard examination requires the injection of a small amount of dye containing an element called gadolinium.
What should I expect?
You will be asked to change into a gown. You will need to lie on your stomach with your breasts in a special detector. The MRI machine resembles a tube, you will need to lie within it, but your will be able to look out the end. Patients with severe claustrophobia may need a sedative before the procedure. The test generally takes 30-45 minutes. As the magnets in the machine turn on and off, you will hear a banging noise.
What do I need to know?
The test takes place inside the MRI magnet which resembles a tube. Patients with severe claustrophobia may need a sedative before the procedure. Because the test uses powerful magnets, patients with anything metallic in their body may be at risk for problems. You will be screened before the procedure to make sure that it is safe. Orthopedic hardware is generally not a problem. Generally patients with spinal stimulators, pacemakers or defibrillators are not candidates for this test.
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