Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as a reaction to the contrast material used to take clearer pictures. Kidney or liver problems may make it harder for the body to get rid of the material.
MRIs are usually safe to have done during pregnancy, but people
who are pregnant should talk to their doctors before having one.
Reasons for Test
This test may be done to:
- Assess breast abnormalities seen on a mammogram
- Find breast changes in people with dense tissue, implants, or scar tissue
- Examine breast implants
- Look at scar tissue
- Find out the progress of breast cancer treatment
- Locate cysts or enlarged breast ducts
- Look at lymph nodes near the breast
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What to Expect
Prior to the Test
The staff may meet with you to talk about:
- Anesthesia that may be used
- Any allergies you may have
Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before the scan
- Whether you have something in or on your body that would cause problems with an MRI, such as a medical device, joint replacement, or jewelry
- Whether you need a ride to and from the scan
- Tests that will need to be done before the scan, such as an x-ray to check for metal objects in the body
- Timing the test between days 5 and 15 of the menstrual cycle when the breast tissue is less dense
The doctor may give a sedative to certain people. They will feel relaxed.
Description of the Test
The MRI machine makes a loud banging noise. Ear plugs or
headphones may be given before the scan.
A contrast material may be injected into t hand or arm. You
will lie face down on a sliding table. Your breasts will hang into cushioned
openings. Monitors may be used to track your pulse, heart rate, and breathing. The
table will slide into a narrow, enclosed tube.
The technician will leave the room. You will be given directions through an intercom. You can reply through the intercom. The pictures will be taken. You will exit the machine. Any IV needles used will be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
60 to 90 minutes
Will It Hurt?
The exam is painless.
The images will be studied. A report will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will talk to you about the results and any further tests or treatment.
Problems to Look Out For
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
- Problems urinating
- Nausea or vomiting
- New or worsening symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.