Rapid Screening Breast MRI is designed for women with 50% or greater breast tissue density (also called heterogeneous or extremely dense). Since 2015, doctors have been required by Michigan law to notify you of your breast density. Dense breasts make it hard to spot problems on mammograms. An MRI can spot potential cancer cells in far smaller sizes and 4-6 years earlier than standard mammograms, which is expected to dramatically increase survival.
What is a DIAGNOSTIC Breast MRI?
Unlike the groundbreaking Rapid Breast MRI, a diagnostic study typically takes more scan time up to 24 minutes. It is designed to address specific questions your doctor may have about your breasts, usually when solving a particular problem.
What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
MRI uses magnets, radio waves and a computer to create a four-dimensional model of the inside of your breasts. It does not use radiation and is an excellent screening tool to find breast cancer very early when a cure is expected.
The technologist will advise you of the expected scan time before the exam starts. Our MRI machines are designed with patient comfort in mind.
When you have a breast MRI at Regional Medical Imaging, you’ll be lying comfortably face down on the exam table. There is no compression of your breasts and this position significantly reduces claustrophobia. Furthermore, MRIs do not use radiation for the scan, and the gadolinium contrast agent used is in very small quantities.
On the Day of Your Exam
Take your normal medication unless your doctor orders otherwise. We will need your physician’s name so that we may send them your results. Your report will also be available on our Patient Portal for you to review.
Metal interferes with the MRI equipment. Please remove all items containing metal prior to arriving at our office. In addition to your doctor, please notify your MRI technologist if you have a pacemaker, artificial heart valve, implanted drug infusion port, intrauterine device, or any pins, metallic implants, aneurysm clips, or metal fragments from previous injuries or surgeries. Your technologist will provide a hospital gown for your convenience.
During the MRI
Your technologist will position you on the MRI table face down, and your breasts will be placed in the padded depression in the table without the use of compression. Once you are comfortably positioned, the table will slide into the MRI machine for the imaging to begin.
The technologist will be operating the scan from a room adjacent to you, talking to you using a speaker system. You will be able to see out of the scanner and communicate with the technologist at any time.
Once the scan has begun you simply lie still and relax. The MRI machine will make rhythmic pulsating sounds as it creates your images – you will have earplugs to soften any noise.
After the MRI
Once the scan is complete, the table will slide out from the scanner and you will be guided out of the exam room.
A radiologist will review the series of images created during the MRI and will send your doctor a written report. You may also access your report on the RMI Patient Portal. Your doctor will follow up to discuss the results with you.