Prior to the MRI exam, an IV line will be placed in your arm to administer the contrast agent (gadolinium) which helps detect abnormalities in the tissue.
The MRI machine has a large central opening. For the exam, which typically lasts 20-30 minutes, you will be positioned face-down on a padded scanning table with your breasts suspended in a cushioned depression in the table.
The table will then slide into the machine and you will be asked to lie still and breathe normally for the duration of the exam. This produces the best quality images with no motion blurring (artifact).
The MRI machine creates a magnetic field around you and radio waves are directed at your body. You will not feel the magnetic or radio waves, but you will likely hear tapping and thumping sounds during different parts of the exam.
You will be offered ear plugs and headphones with music to help alleviate this noise. During the exam, the MRI technologist will be monitoring you from an outside room and you will be able to speak with the technologist via a microphone in the scanner.
A typical Breast MRI produces approximately 2500 images of the breasts, which are then interpreted by our breast imaging radiologists.
NEXT: How will I receive my Breast MRI results? ›