DeKalb Medical offers the latest technology in magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, of the breast to detect cancer or other abnormalities of the breast. Breast MRI in Atlanta is a noninvasive test that is used to create detailed pictures of the breast, surrounding tissues and the chest wall. Unlike an x-ray which uses radiation, MRI of the breast uses powerful magnets and radio waves, neither of which is harmful to your body. A physician’s order is required to have an MRI of the breast.
As one of the leading providers of breast MRI in Atlanta, DeKalb Medical reminds women that breast MRI is not a replacement for a mammogram. An MRI of the breast usually is performed when your doctor needs more information than a mammogram, ultrasound or clinical breast exam can provide. Breast MRI sometimes is used as a screening tool for breast cancer in women who are at high risk of developing the disease. In some cases, MRI of the breast is used during a breast biopsy procedure.
A breast MRI will produce hundreds of images of your breast. Single MRI images are called slices. They can be stored on a computer or printed out using film. A radiologist who is specially trained in reviewing your images will promptly provide a report to your physician about the findings of your breast MRI at DeKalb Medical. Your physician will share the results with you.
Should your breast MRI reveal cancer, a DeKalb Medical Nurse Navigator is available to assist you from the time you see our breast care specialists for a problem until treatment begins. The Nurse Navigator answers questions and guides you through the process as quickly as possible, working directly with your primary care physician to assist with referrals and breast care treatment planning.
A breast MRI is a painless procedure that requires little or no preparation. You can follow your normal daily diet and routine before having your test. Wear your normal clothes. You will be given a hospital gown to change into for your scan, and you will need to remove any jewelry or other accessories such as hair pins or clips. Metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room because they interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI equipment.
If you have a fear confined spaces (claustrophobia) or have difficulty lying still, tell your doctor before the scan. He or she may be able to prescribe a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure.
Your breast MRI will begin with the technologist placing an IV needle in your hand or arm. You will be given a special dye or contrast material using the IV. This is similar to what you may feel when getting your blood drawn. This dye helps the radiologist see certain areas of your breast more clearly. You will lie face down on your stomach on a narrow table with your breast hanging freely in a cushioned opening. Your breast will be surrounded by a device called a breast coil, with is the signal receiver that works with the MRI unit to create the images. The table slides into the MRI machine for the test.
The machine makes various loud whirling, thumping and bumping noises. These are quite normal. You will be given earplugs to use during your breast MRI to help cut down on the noise. The person conducting the exam is in another room but he or she can communicate with you using an intercom system.
An MRI of the breast usually lasts from 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours.
When your procedure is complete, you may be asked to wait while the technologist checks the images to be sure they are accurate. You may resume your normal daily activities when your test is completed.
A detailed report from the radiologist will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.
Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your breast MRI for you.
If your breast MRI is at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, go to the hospital’s central registration area.
If your breast MRI is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.