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Breast MRI

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a non-invasive procedure without use of X-ray. MRI of the breast is similar to other MRI imaging, except patients lie face down. An IV is started before the procedure, as a contrast agent is injected after a few initial images to improve the image of tissue. If areas of concern are found on the MRI, a biopsy can also be performed with MRI guidance.

Breast MRI does not replace other breast imaging such as mammography or ultrasound, but offers additional information for certain patients. Some typical reasons that your physician may recommend a breast MRI are:

  • To examine an area of interest seen on a mammography.

  • Improve on the ability to detect breast cancer for women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for the disease.

  • Women who have implants or scar tissue may benefit from an MRI.

  • Provides another way to image breast implants.

  • May be helpful in telling the difference between scar tissue and a recurrent tumor.

  • Is helpful when looking at multiple areas of interest.

  • Also can be beneficial in determining next steps in efforts to conserve breast tissue.

  • Easy way to confirm whether cancer detected by mammography or ultrasound has spread into the chest wall.

  • Also can be helpful to determine whether cancer has spread beyond the surgical site.

  • Assess the effect of chemotherapy.

  • Provide additional information on a breast disease that would aid you and your physician in making treatment decisions.