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Breast MRI Scan FAQ

Is Breast MRI Safe?

Yes. MRI examination poses no risk to the average patient if appropriate safety guidelines are followed. Do tell your doctor if you:

  • Are pregnant.
  • Weigh more than 300 pounds.
  • Are not able to lie on your front for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Have claustrophobia (fear of closed or narrow spaces).

How long does the breast MRI examination take?

Allow 1 1/2 hours for your MRI examination. In most cases, the procedure takes 45 to 60 minutes, during which time several dozen images may be obtained.

What happens before the breast MRI scan?

Personal items such as your watch, wallet -- including any credit cards with magnetic strips (they will be erased by the magnet) -- and jewellery should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the MRI scan. Hearing aids should be removed before the test since they can be damaged by the magnetic field. Secured lockers are typically available to store personal possessions.

What happens during the breast MRI exam?

You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and to lie on your front during your breast MRI.

As the MRI scan begins, you will hear the equipment making a muffled thumping sound that will last for several minutes. Other than the sound, you should experience no unusual sensations during the scanning.

Certain MRI exams require that you receive an injection of a contrast material. This helps identify certain anatomic structures on the scan images.

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