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What to expect during a breast MRI:
Schedule your MRI for the beginning of your menstrual cycle (7-14 days after the first day of menstrual bleeding).
MRI’s are not usually recommended for women who are pregnant.
A breast MRI involves injection of a dye to help make the pictures of the breast easier to read. This dye can rarely cause allergic reaction or serious complications for people with kidney disease.
If you are breastfeeding, your healthcare provider may recommend that you stop nursing for two days after your MRI, although the American College of Radiology states that the risk to a newborn baby from any contrast dye in its mother’s breastmilk after having a breast MRI is extremely low.
A breast MRI is a safe procedure and does not use x-rays.
The MRI machine has a large, central opening and during the breast MRI, you lie face down on a padded scanning table. If you have trouble being in a small, confined space, tell your healthcare provider before your breast MRI. You may be given a mild sedative. During the MRI, you may hear loud tapping and thumping sounds coming from inside the machine. You may be given earplugs to wear.
During the test, the MRI technologist monitors you from another room and you can speak to the technologist through a microphone. You’ll be instructed to breathe normally, but lie as still as possible.
A breast MRI appointment may take 30 minutes to one hour.
Breast MRI results
A doctor specializing in imaging techniques (radiologist) reviews the images from your breast MRI, and a member of your health care team will contact you to discuss the results of the test.
A breast MRI may identify suspicious areas that, after further evaluation (breast biopsy or breast ultrasound) turn out to be normal (benign). Such false results are called false positives and can lead to unneeded anxiety and the need to undergo additional testing.
A breast MRI adds information but does not replace mammograms or other breast screenings.