Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the breast. Breast MRI has been shown to be particularly sensitive in screening for breast cancer in women at high risk, for example with a very strong family history or women who carry a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.
Breast MRI is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound, but rather a supplemental tool that has many important uses. This may also include determining extent of a new breast cancer; further evaluating hard-to-assess abnormalities found on mammography, and monitoring treatment response. It is the best test for determining if silicone implants have ruptured.
Having an MRI
You do not need to fast for a breast MRI but the examination does require an intravenous injection of contrast (Gadolinium).
During the examination you lie prone on the table and pass through the MR magnet, which looks similar to a CT scanner. If you suffer from claustrophobia or have problems lying still please notify our staff at the time of making your appointment.
At the time of your booking we will ask you if you have any metallic devices or implants inside your body, as some of these are unsuitable to be placed within a magnetic field. MRI is also not recommended during pregnancy.
Breast MRI is sometimes booked to be timed at a certain stage of the menstrual cycle and we will request that information from you at the time of booking.
Breast MRI is usually completed within 30 minutes.
The images obtained are reported by a breast Radiologist with results sent to your referring Doctor. It takes some time to read all the images and results are therefore usually not immediately available.