Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the breast.
The quality of images produced by MRI of breast tissue is outstanding. It shows much greater detail compared to ultrasound or x-ray mammography.
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.
Breast MRI can be beneficial in detecting breast cancer in high-risk women with a strong family history or past history of breast cancer, or who are carrying a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Breast MRI may also be used to examine the extent of breast cancer after a diagnosis has been made by mammography or ultrasound and tissue biopsy.
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.
Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time.
Be sure to read the Important MRI Patient Information here.
The scans will be taken as you lay on your stomach. This ensures your breasts are correctly positioned and gently compressed. It will take 30 to 40 minutes to complete an MRI of your breast.
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.
There are no known risks from having a breast MRI. After the MRI examination you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
A Radiologist specialised in breast imaging will interpret your MRI scans and provide a comprehensive report on the findings to your doctor.
Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your MRI results.