MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is an advanced technology that is used
to evaluate the breasts in certain special circumstances. These may include:
- More intensive screening of women who are at especially high risk for breast
cancer (most often due to genetic factors and/or very strong family history)
- Further evaluation of newly diagnosed breast cancer
- Monitoring for recurrence after treatment
- Further evaluation of abnormal findings at mammography or ultrasound
- Evaluation of silicone breast implants for leakage
MRI is a technology that uses magnets and radio waves to produce detailed
cross-sectional images of the breast. It does not involve any radiation
exposure. Before the test, you may need to have a contrast dye inserted
through an intravenous line in your forearm. Because the dye is eliminated
from the body by the kidneys, your doctor may need to check your kidney
function before giving you the contrast. If you have any implanted metallic
devices in your body such as a pacemaker, you may not be able to undergo
MRI. You will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire prior to undergoing MRI.
During the exam you will lie on your stomach on a padded platform with
openings for your breasts. Specialized coil elements surround each breast
to generate detailed images. Unlike mammography, no breast compression
is applied. Only your torso will enter the donut shaped MRI magnet. The
test takes around 30 to 45 minutes. If you're claustrophobic, your
doctor may recommend a mild sedative prior to MRI.
After the MRI exam, additional tests may be needed to determine whether
or not suspicious areas represent cancer. A "second look" ultrasound
is often performed to evaluate MRI findings. In some cases, you may need
to return for a needle biopsy to be performed under MRI guidance.
At the Center for Breast Imaging and Diagnosis at St. Joseph Hospital,
we are fully accredited in breast MRI by the American College of Radiology.
Our team of dedicated breast imagers has extensive expertise in breast
MRI interpretation and MRI guided biopsy procedures.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (714) 734-6280.
Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
St. Joseph Hospital is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
by the ACR. This designation assures that St. Joseph Hospital meets standards
for radiation safety and image quality. By awarding facilities the status
of a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, the ACR recognizes breast imaging
centers that have earned accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast
biopsy, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy).