Breast MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the breast.


    Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the breast. Breast MRI has been shown to be particularly sensitive in screening for breast cancer in women at high risk, for example with a very strong family history or women who carry a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.

    Breast MRI is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound, but rather a supplemental tool that has many important uses. This may also include determining extent of a new breast cancer, further evaluating hard-to-assess abnormalities found on mammography, and monitoring treatment response. It is the best test for determining if silicone implants have ruptured.

    MRI gives radiologists the flexibility to examine and view your breast tissue in detail, from many different angles without you needing to change positions. In comparison, mammography requires the breast and the x-ray equipment to be adjusted for each view.

    MRI also makes it easy to take additional images of the muscle and chest wall around your breast to provide a more comprehensive diagnosis.

    For examining breast implants, mammography and ultrasound may not penetrate saline or silicone well enough to view the implants or surrounding breast tissue. In contrast, MRI may offer clearer images of both implants and breast tissue. This makes MRI an excellent method to assess breast implants and detect small ruptures or leaks.


    A referral from your doctor and an appointment is required for a breast MRI scan. This scan is to be booked day 7-11 of your cycle (if you still have cycles). If you have irregular cycles, a “Serum Progesterone Test” may be organised by Lake Imaging staff.

    At the time of your booking we will ask you if you have any metallic devices of implants inside your body, as some of these are unsuitable to be placed within a magnetic field. MRI is also not recommended during pregnancy.

    Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time.


    During the examination you lie prone on the table and pass through the MR magnet, which looks similar to a CT scanner. If you suffer from claustrophobia or have problems lying still please notify our staff at the time of making your appointment.

    For most breast MRI scans, an injection of the safe contrast solution, gadolinium, into your arm vein will be required – to enhance the detail of the images produced.

    After preliminary scans are taken, the contrast solution is injected and the images are acquired. For scans looking for ruptures to breast implants, these ruptures show up clearly with MRI and the contrast solution is not required.

    Breast MRI is usually completed within 30 minutes.


    There are no known risks from having a breast MRI. After the MRI examination you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.

    The images obtained are reported by a breast Radiologist with results sent to your referring Doctor. It takes some time to read all of the images and results are therefore usually not immediately available.

    Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your MRI results.

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line