Precision Imaging: How Breast MRI Enhances Breast Cancer Detection

Have you been advised by your doctor to undergo a breast MRI to detect abnormalities? You must be anxious thinking about the idea of getting an MRI and going inside a huge machine. Well, fret not. We will help you sail through a breast MRI by explaining the preparation, the procedure, and what to expect after undergoing an MRI. 

What is a breast MRI?

A breast MRI is also known as a breast magnetic resonance imaging scan that helps detect breast abnormalities. It involves recording detailed images of the breast tissues using cutting-edge technology consisting of a large magnet, radio waves, and a computerized digital system. A radiology technologist performs MRIs for you while a radiologist helps predict the results and refers you to a specialist in case abnormalities are detected. 

What to expect before the procedure?

If you notice any abnormal changes in your breast consult a doctor. They will examine your breasts physically and recommend diagnostic tests like ultrasounds, mammography, or MRI. An MRI is most preferred since it provides detailed images of the breast tissues much faster than other tests. 

You need to inform your radiologist or the technician if you:

  • Are pregnant 
  • Are breastfeeding 
  • Have any stent 
  • Have any pacemaker 
  • Have any metal implants in your body
  • Have an allergic reaction to contrast dyes 
  • If you are unable to lie on your stomach for 30 to 60 minutes 
  • Suffer from claustrophobia (fear of closed or narrow spaces)

Before you begin the procedure, you must: 

  • Remove your clothes and wear a radiology apron 
  • Remove all jewelry
  • Have a light meal
  • Be well hydrated 
  • Be cooperative throughout the procedure 

What to expect during the procedure?

You can expect the following during the procedure:

  • Your technician will insert an IV line into your arm vein to inject a contrast dye during the exam 
  • You will lie face down on a table with special openings for your breasts 
  • The technician will move the table into the magnet of the MRI machine 
  • The imaging test will be performed using a computer by the technician 
  • It is important to remain still while the machine is recording the images
  • The MRI machine will make a loud banging noise throughout the exam 
  • If you require a contrast dye, it is time to inject it through the IV line provided after an initial series of scans
  • More images will be taken during or following the injections 

What to expect after the procedure?

You are expected to get the MRI done within 15 to 20 minutes and leave as soon as you finish it. You will be intimated to collect your reports the next day and consult your doctor for further proceedings.  

So the next time you are recommended to get a breast MRI, do read this informative blog to be well prepared about what exactly you must expect before, during, and after the procedure.