Breast MRI – What You Need to Know

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Breast MRI

MRI is an imaging technique that can detect abnormalities in the breast and chest wall that cannot be seen with other types of exams. It can also help determine whether a cancer is confined to one area of the breast (diffuse or multicentric) or has spread to other areas of the body. In addition, MRI can help evaluate scar tissue after a lumpectomy or mastectomy.Read

An MRI exam can last up to 45 minutes. During the scan, you lie on a table that slides into the opening of a cylinder-shaped machine. You will hear loud tapping and thumping noises. You will be given earplugs to help block out the noise. You will need to remain very still for the best images.

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You should not wear clothing with metal zippers or snaps, as they may interfere with the images. You will be asked to remove your earrings and jewelry, and you may need to change into a hospital gown. You will be provided with a locker to store your personal belongings. You should bring a change of clothes to wear after the test.

You will be given a medication to take before the exam that makes your muscles relax. This is important because movement during the MRI can blur the final images. You will be given a device to press if you need to alert the technician that there is discomfort or if something goes wrong during the procedure. It is very important to tell the technologist if you have any allergies, as a dye used during MRI can cause serious problems in some people.

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