MRI technology is capable of producing the most detailed images available for breast tissue. For this reason the American Cancer Society recommends that, starting at age 30, women who meet at least one of the following criteria should get breast MRI scans ALONG with their yearly mammogram:
In addition, breast MRI is a highly effective screening method for women who have:
By comparison to other imaging techniques, such as mammography and ultrasounds, radiologists reading MRI's can see breast cancer that may not be visible on a mammogram or sonogram. For this reason, many women choose to undergo a breast MRI exam for added peace of mind following their mammogram or sonogram. Keep in mind, though, breast MRI is not a replacement for regular mammograms. Rather, it is a supplement tool for detecting breast abnormalities and monitoring treatment. Specifically, doctors use MRI as a diagnostic tool for:
What is a Breast MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) combines magnetic technology with radio waves to produce computer-generated images of the body's soft tissue. During an MRI exam, atoms in your body respond to magnetic fields created by the MRI scanner. These responses are recorded by a computer as images of internal organs, muscles, connective tissue, and the central nervous system. MRI exams are safe- they do not emit radiation- and in many cases, they can reduce the need for further tests or invasive procedures.
3-Tesla MRI: The Most Detailed Images Available. Simply put, the highest quality images help doctors develop the most accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatments. That's why Elite Imaging invested in the Siemens MAGNETOM Trio 3-Tesla High-Field MRI system- the strongest MRI machine in South Florida- which provides doctors with the most detailed images of the breast. Radiologist agree 3-Tesla MRI technology produces more detailed pictures compared to less-sophisticated MRI machines; and when it comes to breast MRI, the advantages of 3-Tesla Technology are even more pronounced. Also important, 3-Tesla MRI can reduce the duration of a breast MRI scan by half. While traditional breast MRI exams can last up to one hour, 3-Tesla MRI exams typically take less than 30 minutes.
How Do I Prepare For My MRI Exam?
Prior to your exam you may eat normally and continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor, unless otherwise directed. The only exception is MRI of the Abdomen. You will be asked to remove all jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, hair pins, and other metallic objects. We provide you with your own locker for your belongings. You may also be asked to remove dentures and wigs. You will be asked to wear a cloth gown. Additionally, you should alert your physician or one of Elite Imaging's staff if you are pregnant or if you have any of the following:
What Can I Expect During My Exam?
When your exam begins, you will lie on your belly on a movable table that slowly glides through the MRI Scanner. Your breasts will be positioned in cushioned openings surrounded by a breast coil, a device that enables the MRI scanner to create the images. During the exam, you may pass through the MRI scanner several times. While the machine is working, you will hear occasional thumping sounds. Do not be alarmed, as these sounds are normal.
MRI technology is safe, and Elite Imaging follows all steps to ensure patient comfort during the exam. While most MRI exams are non invasive, your doctor may request that you receive an injection of a harmless contrast agent that provides a clearer picture of the breast tissue. Exams typically last about 45 minutes, and you can help ensure the clarity of the images by remaining as still as possible while the scanner operates.
Once your exam is complete, Elite Imaging will contact your doctor with the results of your study. Only your physician can discuss the results with you.