You will first need to get changed in our private dressing area. We have lockers for your clothing but suggest you leave valuables at home, if possible. All MRI patients are given two hospital gowns and a pair of hospital pajama bottoms to change into. You will be asked to remove all of your own clothing and put on the pajama bottoms and gowns, with one gown opening in the front and one opening in the back.
Next, one of our technologists will review the MRI procedure with you and answer any additional questions you might have. Please make sure you let us know of any drug allergies you may have before your exam, or if you might be pregnant or are nursing.
A thin, plastic tube will then be carefully inserted into a vein in your arm or on the back of your hand. This is called an intravenous line (IV), and it is used to inject a dye, a liquid contrast material, that assists in creating vivid images of breast tissue. When you are in the MRI machine, you may feel a cold sensation for a few seconds where the IV line is placed as the dye is injected.
In the MRI exam room, you will be asked to lie on your stomach, with your arms above your head, on a table that is movable and padded. The table has an indented space at one end, the breast coil, which allows your breasts to be comfortably placed in it. The breast coil is cushioned, and may feel like a padded bra. It also contains the receiver that sends signals to the MRI machine and creates the images. You may feel slight pressure on your breasts, which helps keep them still during the procedure so the images come out clear.
You will be given earplugs to wear so you and the MRI technologist can communicate at any time. The technologist will be able to see you — as well as hear you — the whole time, too. It may feel cool in the room, so blankets are provided to ensure you are warm enough.
Once you are comfortable, our technologist will move you into the center of the tunnel-shaped MRI machine. In addition to the hole in the middle, each end is open. There is a fan blowing gently and it is well lit inside. It is important that you do not move at all during the procedure in order for the technologist to be able to get the best images.
Although you will be wearing earplugs, you may still hear a lot of noise from the machine while it works. Our technologist will speak with you during the MRI, and let you know what is happening during the process. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, please let the technologist know.