Breast MRI – Information

You will be asked to change into a gown that opens at the front. All your valuables will be placed into a secure container that is kept in the secure MRI console area.

A technologist will go through a MRI safety questionnaire to ensure it is safe to take you into the MRI environment. They will also give you a Breast Questionnaire to get the best possible history from you. Please bring any previous breast imaging films you may have had (mammograms, ultrasounds or MRI).

The technologist will explain the procedure to you. The coil is the raised part of the table with headphones at the foot of the table. The circular donut is the MRI machine. A contrast dye injection is required for this examination, therefore an IV line will be placed into your arm. You may feel a cool sensation as the contrast is delivered.

You will be asked to lay face down with your breast(s) in a special device known as a coil which improves image quality and detail. The coils are adjusted for each patient to maximise comfort.  Your arms will be by your side. You will be provided with a special headrest to ensure comfort.

Breast imaging is very sensitive to motion. It is very important that you remain completely still during the examination – even the slightest movement or position adjustment may cause inaccurate findings. The technologist will make every effort to ensure you are comfortable before the examination begins. Most examinations take approximately 20 minutes.

The table will slide your body into the magnet until your chest is in the middle. During the scan you will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Headphones will be provided to help mask the noise. You can listen to the radio, or alternatively bring along your favourite CD or your iPod.

The technologist is always able to see you during the exam. You will have a buzzer to hold onto if you need to speak with the technologist. The technologist will try and keep talking to a minimum to reduce the chance of any movement or change in position which can affect the accuracy of the examination.

At the end of the examination, the IV will be removed. Breast MRI generates a large volume of data/information. Results are usually available within 2-3 working days. All data is provided on a CD, along with a copy of the Radiology report.