Breast MRI

What is a breast MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is one of the safest and most comfortable imaging tests available. It uses magnetic fields, not x-rays or radiation, to obtain over 3000 images of the breast. MRI is more comfortable because it does not require the breasts to be compressed. As an addition to ultrasound and mammography, Breast MRI can help physicians detect cancer early and save lives.

Who should have a breast MRI?

Breast MRI is often used for evaluating patients with dense breast tissue, breast pain, breast discharge, fibrocystic breast disease, or patients with a personal or family history of breast cancer. Breast MRI can be used for evaluation of implant rupture, radiation/chemotherapy treatments and searching for primary breast cancer in patients with lymph node disease..

What are the benefits of a breast MRI?

A breast MRI:

  • Is highly sensitive to small abnormalities
  • Is used effectively in dense breasts
  • Often spots abnormalities missed by mammography
  • Evaluates the extent of breast cancer
  • Is excellent in detecting breast cancer re-occurrences ad residual tumors following lumpectomy
  • May help to determine the extent of necessary surgery
  • Does not compress breasts or use x-rays

What happens during the screening?

During your examination, which usually lasts about 25 minutes, you will lie on your stomach. A technician will administer an IV containing a small amount of saline and Gadolinium (an enhancing agent). Then a motorized table will convey you slowly into the spacious scanner. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you can discuss your concerns with the technician via a two-way communication system.

What if my breast MRI shows a positive result?

Spectrum Health Lakeland and our affiliated physicians offer a continuum of care that is available for patients during every step following diagnosis. Lakeland surgeons, oncologists, and radiation oncologists are experts who use the latest techniques and research to devise a plan of treatment for you. You can be treated in our community, close to your home and family.

How can I schedule an evaluation?

Ask your doctor if breast MRI is right for you Your doctor will make the necessary referral. To schedule your examination call our central scheduling department at 800.791.2810.

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