Breast MRI

Precise breast tissue imaging

What Is a Breast MRI?

Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates detailed pictures of breast tissue. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to create the images. The test is harmless. MRI does not use X-rays or radiation. Your doctor may use a breast MRI to get more detailed images after a mammogram. We also use breast MRI to evaluate a possible rupture of breast implants. If your MRI shows abnormal tissue, your doctor may order a focused ultrasound to pinpoint the area of concern. You also may need a biopsy. If the abnormal area is not seen on the ultrasound, your doctor may perform an MRI-guided biopsy.

What To Expect During a Breast MRI

An MRI is painless. The test takes 30 minutes to an hour.

Learn what happens when you come to Beth Israel Lahey Health Breast Center – Plymouth for your test.

Before the Test

A technician will call and ask you some questions before your breast MRI. Be sure to share information about:

  • Any implanted electronic or metal medical devices, such as breast expanders or pacemakers. Tissue marker clips are OK during an MRI.
  • Breast implants, including the type of filling and if the implants have a polyvinyl chloride sponge covering.
  • Anxious reactions you may have in small or tight places. Your doctor may prescribe a sedative to keep you calm during the test.

During Your Breast MRI

When you arrive, your technician shows you to a private room where you can change into a hospital gown and leave your belongings. You should remove all dentures, hearing aids and jewelry.

Once you enter the room with the MRI machine:

  • You sit on a cushioned bed, and an IV is placed in your arm to administer a contrast agent to create clearer images.
  • You lie on your stomach on the bed.
  • Your technician positions your breasts within a padded cutout.
  • You should remain as still as possible during the procedure.
  • Once you're settled, your technician leaves the room.
  • You can talk with your technician through a speaker. Tell your technician if you get nervous or have any worries.
  • As the test begins, the bed slides into the MRI machine.
  • You enter the scanner feet first, and your head does not enter the scanner.
  • You won't feel anything, but you will hear tapping or thumping sounds as the machine does its work.

After Your Breast MRI

When the test is done, the bed slides out of the MRI machine. The technician reviews the images and lets you know when you can leave. You can change into your clothes and return to your day.

Our radiologists review the breast MRI images and send the results to your doctor. Your doctor shares your results within a few days.

Make an Appointment