How to Prepare for Your Breast MRI
Almost all breast MRIs are done with contrast so please see the separate instructions for MRI contrast studies.
Here are some things you can expect to be asked if you are scheduling a breast MRI:
Do you have a pacemaker or defibrillator?
- Patients with pacemakers or defibrillators cannot have an MRI!
Have you ever worked with metal?
- Please be aware that you are going under a giant magnet. If there is any chance that you may have the tiniest metal shavings in your eyes you must get an x-ray of the orbits. This is an image of your eyes that will allow the radiologist to be sure that there is no metal in them. This requires a separate prescription from your doctor and should be done right before the MRI. If it must be done on different days you may not work with metal in the interval.
Have you had surgery in the past 3 months?
- If so, you must inform us.
Do you have any implants or aneurysm clips?
- If so, you must inform us and bring your implant card if available.
- Most implants are non-magnetic, but we have to be sure. The card will provide that information.
Do you have a hearing aid?
- You will have to take it out for the procedure.
Are you claustrophobic?
- All breast MRIs must be done on the high field (closed) unit while lying face down on the table. If you know that your claustrophobia is severe, please contact your doctor and request a sedative to help you relax. Please be safe! If you are taking a sedative prior to your exam, have someone drive you to and from the facility.
Are you under 50?
- If you are under 50 and have a regular or irregular menstrual cycle you must schedule your procedure 7-10 days after the end of your cycle.
- If you are post-menopausal or have had a hysterectomy and do not take hormone replacement therapy, you may schedule your procedure anytime.
Do you take hormone replacement therapy?
- If so, you must stop taking it 60-90 days prior to the breast MRI
Do you have breast implants?
- If this procedure is for breast implants and not breast pathology then you may schedule anytime.
- Please inform us whether your implants are silicone or saline
Have you ever had other breast studies before?
- Please bring reports of your previous breast MRIs, mammograms, and breast ultrasounds so the radiologist can compare these to your current study. This is done to ensure greater accuracy. Reports can easily be obtained by calling the facility where you had your previous study and requesting them. It is the patient’s responsibility to request reports. We cannot do this on your behalf.
If you are unsure about any part of this please contact your referring doctor or your primary care physician.