OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Peoria, Illinois

Breast MRI

What is Breast MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the latest advancements in breast imaging today. Radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer work together to create detailed images of the breast anatomy. MRI is not a replacement tool for mammography, but can be used to further evaluate the breasts. Breast MRI is useful for high risk patients, imaging dense breast tissue, and evaluating breast implant ruptures. In addition, Breast MRI is often used prior to breast surgery.

How to prepare for your Breast MRI

  • Pregnancy tests are required for woman ages 10 through 55. Please be prepared to provide a urine sample upon arrival at the testing facility.
  • Your safety is our top priority. Due to the strong magnetic field, we take extra precautions, and you will be asked to provide the MRI department with a complete medical history and any records related to implanted devices
  • You will be asked to remove jewelry (including piercings), eyeglasses, hearing aids, hairpins, and change into a gown prior to the test. You will be scanned with a metal detector prior to entering the MRI scan room.
  • If you wear a transdermal medication patch, you will need to remove the patch before you arrive for your MRI. Please bring an extra patch to apply after the exam.
  • Some patients may need medication for anxiety and pain in order to complete the procedure. You will need to arrange this prescription and prescription pick up at the pharmacy of your choice with your physician. You should follow the instructions with your prescription which may include bringing it to your appointment.

The MRI Exam

The technologist will position you on your stomach on the scanner table. Your breasts will be encircled in a cushioned opening allowing them to be visualized by the equipment. Compression is not used in Breast MRI. The scanner will make a rapid knocking noise as it acquires images of your breasts. You may receive a contrast injection through an IV in your arm. A routine exam will last about 45 minutes, but additional time may be needed if the radiologist requests more information.

Getting your results

In most cases, your imaging exam will be interpreted within 24 hours. Please keep in mind that your doctor’s office may need additional time to incorporate the report into your personal medical record.