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What should I expect with a breast MRI?

Before a breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, you can expect to be asked some questions, take a blood test and—after removing items from your person such as jewelry and eyeglasses—have an intravenous line (IV) inserted so that the contrast agent can be injected.

During a breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, you can expect the following:

  • You will be lying on your stomach on a table. The table will then be moved in a tube-like device that has a magnet.
  • You will be asked to remain quiet, breathe normally, and lie still on your stomach inside the tube.
  • Earplugs will be given to you to reduce the noise level, however, you will still be able to hear the technologist over the intercom, and the technologist will be able to hear you.
  • You may feel warm during the MRI procedure.
  • You will be asked to stay still for at least 30 minutes at a time while scanning of one or both breasts is done. It is very important that you stay still while the pictures are being taken.
  • After the first series of pictures is done, you will get an injection of gadolinium into a vein. This is a contrast agent that improves the visibility of the breast tissue in MRI scans. Another series of pictures will be taken after the injection.

When the entire breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is complete, the table will move out of the tube and the technologist will take out the intravenous (IV) line and help you off the table. Then, you may change back into your clothes. Since the computer takes hundreds of pictures, it may take three to four days to send a report to your doctor who will discuss the results with you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.