There are several reasons why your doctor may request a breast MRI exam:
Recent diagnosis of breast cancer with moderate or extremely dense breast tissue on mammography which may hide additional tumor deposits
Certain breast cancer patients before chemotherapy is used in an attempt to shrink the tumor before surgery
High risk population such as genetic mutation carriers of the BRCA1 AND BRCA2 genes, personal history of breast cancer, prior breast biopsy which showed abnormal cells, strong family history of breast cancer, previous chest radiation for Hodgkin's Lymphoma at a young age (under 30 years)
Patients with silicone breast implants with a question of implant rupture
Tell your technologist and your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Your doctor may postpone the exam or choose an alternative exam.
Breast MRI exams cannot be performed in patients who have:
other implanted electronic devices
Patients should schedule their appointment 7-10 days after their menstrual cycle to reach the lowest level of hormones which occurs at the end of the menses.
At the time of scheduling and at your appointment you will be asked a series of screening questions to determine whether you may proceed with the exam.
You will be asked to remove all metal or electronic objects from your body before the exam. These objects interfere with the magnetic field and can be very dangerous if taken into the exam room.
If you have ever had metal in your eyes you may need to have an X-ray of your head prior to undergoing an MRI.
Tell your technologist at the time of your exam if you have any metal or electronic devices in or on your body including, but not limited to:
Watches or jewelry
Cell phones or PDAs
Implanted medical devices (i.e. pacemaker, defibrillators)
Implanted metallic joint prostheses, artificial heart valves, cochlear implants, hearing aids or metallic dentures
Some patients may feel anxious due to the confining nature of the MRI scanner. If you feel this way, talk to your doctor. He or she may feel it necessary to prescribe a sedative prior to your exam to help you relax.
Your doctor or radiologist may request that your MRI scan be enhanced via the use of contrast material. If contrast is required, the technologist will start an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm to administer the contrast.
Although rare, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction to contrast material. Therefore, you will be asked a series of questions about your medical history to determine whether you may receive contrast. Most reactions are minor such as itchiness, hives, and nausea or vomiting. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Tell your technologist or doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam.
Results are available within 24 - 48 hours.
Once the exam is complete, a physician will review the study and dictate a report. This report will be sent to the doctor who ordered your study. We recommend that you call and schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the results.
Typically, the healthcare provider calls, faxes or submits an online request for the breast MRI exam. Then we call you to confirm your appointment date and time. However, if your healthcare provider asks you to schedule your exam, simply call us or visit our Request an Appointment page. We will make sure the exam is timely and convenient and that it meets any special requirements of your insurance carrier and healthcare provider.
When you call, we will need to know which exam your healthcare provider ordered and why. We will also ask you for your insurance information. You will need to pay any co-pay or deductible at the time of the exam. We conveniently file your claim with your insurance provider.
Most of our facilities offer same-day (insurance permitting), evening and weekend appointments. Prior to your appointment, we will give you the estimated total cost, what you will owe at the time of service, and payment options. We will also fax reports and provide images to your healthcare provider.