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High-resolution contrast-enhanced breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may detect small cancers not seen on mammography.

Breast MRI is an alternative to mammography that is helpful in better assessing the extent of disease in some patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

The added information an MRI provides can help fine-tune the surgical management of the disease. Breast MRI can also evaluate breast implant rupture. The role of MRI in screening high-risk patients is currently under evaluation in clinical trials.

“I felt at ease, the staff really cared for me. I knew I was in good hands. The doctor was so nice, caring, and reassuring, it’s so rare to find an office that truly cares about their patients.”

What Is A Breast MRI?

A breast MRI uses radio waves and strong magnets to capture multiple images combined to create a detailed picture of the inside of the breast, making it a powerful tool to spot abnormalities.

What Happens During A Breast MRI?

Your breast MRI appointment should take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Before your breast MRI, a dye will be injected using an IV for contrast purposes to better read your images for the most accurate results possible.

During your breast MRI, you will lie facedown on a scanning table with a hollow area to place your breasts into and coils that detect magnetic signals from the machine. The table will then slide into the MRI machine, where a magnetic field surrounds you, with radio waves directed at your body. You won’t feel any pressure from these energies, but earplugs can be provided if the machine thumping is too loud.

During your MRI, breast imaging experts will be in a neighboring room monitoring you, and microphones will allow you to communicate with each other.

What Does A Breast MRI Do?

A breast MRI helps radiologists assess the extent of breast cancer. It is not only used for women already diagnosed. It is a screening tool for women with a high risk of developing the disease and for other issues.

Why Might My Doctor Order A Breast MRI?

If your physician recommends a breast MRI, it is with your welfare in mind. To provide you with the treatment or diagnosis you need as soon as possible, as breast cancer can develop quickly if not found early.

Your doctor may recommend a breast MRI if:

  • You’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer, and your healthcare provider wants to determine the extent of it
  • You are at a high risk of breast cancer (high risk is 20% or more)
  • You have very dense breast tissue that makes it difficult for mammograms to read
  • You have breast implants that may have ruptured or leaked
  • You have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • You have a hereditary breast cancer gene mutation (BRCA1 or BRCA2)
  • You had radiation around your breast area before the age of 30

Pre And Post-Examination Care

Before your breast MRI, you will be given in-depth instructions on preparing for your screening to ensure a safe procedure and accurate results. Our list of pre-examination care instructions includes:

  • Try to schedule at the beginning of your menstrual cycle
  • Inform our breast imaging specialists of any allergies you may have
  • Inform our team if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Don’t wear anything metallic like jewelry on the day of your breast MRI
  • Inform our team of any implanted medical devices you may have
  • Inform our team if you have problems with your kidney health, as the dye used during the MRI can trigger them

What Happens If My Breast MRI Finds An Atypical Result?

If your breast MRI finds an atypical result, further examination will be needed before an official diagnosis to ensure proper care for addressing your condition. Expert imagers typically remove a sample of your breast tissue with a biopsy to determine if the findings are cancerous or benign and prepare a customized treatment plan for your specific condition.


What Is The Difference Between A Breast MRI And A Breast Mammography?

Healthcare providers use MRIs and mammograms to detect breast cancer and abnormalities. They are very different from each other and utilized at different stages in the screening process. While mammograms are typically the first part of a breast cancer screening process during annual checks, MRIs are an option for further examination if any microcalcifications are found during the mammogram or for patients known to be high risk. 

The main differences between breast MRIs and mammograms include:

  • Mammograms use X-rays, while MRIs use radio waves and a magnetic field
  • Mammograms compress the breasts, while MRIs do not
  • MRIs require a contrast dye using an IV, while mammograms do not
  • Mammogram images are taken within 2-3 minutes, while MRI images take 17-20 minutes
Does Insurance Cover A Breast MRI?

Most insurance providers help with the cost of a breast MRI regardless of density if you are at a high risk of breast cancer. The amount of coverage and terms & conditions vary between insurance carriers, so be sure to communicate with yours about how they can assist with the cost of your breast cancer screenings.

What Are The Risks Associated With A Breast MRI?

A breast MRI is a safe, straightforward procedure that does not include radiation exposure, but as with any screening test, it has some risks that include:

  • False-positive results that turn out to be benign after further evaluation
  • Allergic reaction to the contrast dye used to make the images easier to read

Why Us?

Our team at Little Silver Mammography and HerSpace has helped put hundreds of women at ease as we pursue the clinical objective of detecting and diagnosing breast cancer at its earliest, most curable stage.

We recommend thorough research to find radiologists and technologists with excellent reputations, relevant qualifications, and glowing reviews. You can read some of our ‘real patient’ testimonials here!

Location (address, contact details, hours)

Office address

200 White Road
Suite 115
Little Silver, New Jersey 07739

Contact Info

Phone:  732.741.9595
Phone:  732.571.9100
Fax: 732.741.0985

Office Hours

Mon, Wed, Fri: 7:30am – 5pm
Tues, Thurs: 7:30am – 7pm
Saturday: 8am – 12pm
Sunday: Closed

Book an appointment

Feel free to book an appointment on our website or call us at +1 732-741-9595 to speak to one of our friendly experts and arrange your consultation.