What Is a Breast MRI?
A breast MRI creates highly detailed images of breast tissue. It is used with other imaging such as mammography and ultrasound to provide an overview of breast health. An appointment takes about an hour but the actual scan time is only about 15 minutes.
A breast MRI uses contrast injected through an IV. Contrast helps improve the clarity of images to make a diagnosis more accurate. It works by making some tissues and structures stand out from others so radiologists can see them more clearly.
The benefits of using contrast typically outweigh any potential risk. We carefully asses your risk before giving you contrast.
How to Prepare for a Breast MRI
Log into Patient Gateway for more details on your specific appointment.
- Screening Call - Expect to get a phone call from our MRI staff about three days before your appointment. We will ask you questions about allergies and implants. The call helps make sure we have everything ready for you when you arrive.
- Implants - Please bring information about any metal or electronic implants in your body to your appointment.
- Arrival Time - Please arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to check in.
- Claustrophobia - Ask your doctor about medicine to help you relax during your exam if you have a fear of small spaces. We don't have any in our department that we can give you.
- Clothing - Please wear clothes that are easy to change out of. All MRI patients at Mass General change into a hospital gown for safety.
- Valuables - Valuables are not allowed in the exam room. Lockers are available, but we suggest you leave your valuables at home so you don’t have to worry about them.
- Children - If you need to bring kids to your appointment, please bring someone to watch them in the waiting room.
What to Expect at a Breast MRI Exam
Find out what happens when you come to Mass General Imaging for your breast MRI exam. During COVID, we are taking unprecedented steps to keep our patients safe. We have adjusted our operations and physical space so you may notice some enhanced safety measures when you visit.
Use these patient resources to answer other questions about your appointment. You can also contact us if you need any help.