Breast imaging is done through breast MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. The healthcare providers often prescribe it if you have had a biopsy that indicates breast cancer. Your health care providers do that to know about the extent of cancer spread or to know more about any lump present in your breasts. However, it may also be done as a screening tool for breast cancer along with a mammogram. It may also be done if you are at high risk for breast cancer, having a strong family history, or a gene mutation.
During breast MRI many images of your breast will be captured that are imaged through the computer.
Reasons for Performing a Breast MRI
Your healthcare provider may perform a breast MRI if:
- You are diagnosed with breast cancer through a biopsy, and your health care provider wants to know its extent of spread.
- You have any problems with a breast implant.
- You are at high risk of developing breast cancer.
- You have a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
- You have a genetic mutation that predisposes you to breast cancer.
- You have dense breast tissues.
- Before the age of 30, you have had radiation therapy to your chest area.
If you are at high risk for breast cancer, you can get a CT scan in Lahore.
A breast MRI is done along with a mammogram. It is not a replacement for a mammogram. Although being sensitive and accurate, the MRI may miss out on some cancerous lesions that a mammogram can detect.
How to Prepare for a Breast MRI?
To prepare for a breast MRI, you must keep the following things in mind.
Early Days of the Menstrual Cycle
If you still get periods, you should get a breast MRI done in the early phase of your cycle – from day 3 to 14. Day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the one when the period starts. You can tell the designated department about your period dates so that they can arrange the appointment accordingly.
Tell About Allergies
You must tell your health care provider about any kind of allergies you have. In most MRIs, they inject a dye to get better imaging of tissues. Also, tell them if you have any previous history with any kind of dyes.
Tell Them About Your Health Condition
You must inform your health care provider about your complete health conditions. Most importantly, tell them if you have kidney disease. Gadolinium – a commonly used dye in MRIs, can cause serious kidney complications. Therefore, make sure that you give them complete health details. They may also get your kidney function tests done before the MRI, even if your kidneys are fine.
Tell your health care providers if you are pregnant. The gadolinium dye can hurt your baby. Therefore they may avoid injecting it.
If you are nursing, you must tell your health care providers about it. Although, the gadolinium dye may not cause any harm to your child. But to be on the safe side, your health care providers may recommend stopping that for 12 to 24 hours – a time in which the dye will leave your body. To feed your baby, you can express the milk before and give them. Moreover, during this period, you must keep expressing milk.
No Metallic Objects
Make sure you are not wearing anything metallic objects during the test. Do not wear any jewelry, watch, or hairpins during the procedure. Even if your bra has metallic hooks, you must remove it before MRI. Ensure that you do not have any electronic gadgets with you or in your pockets.
If you have any implants like a pacemaker or a defibrillator, you should tell your health care provider about it before the test starts.
What to Expect?
You should reach the hospital at least 30 minutes before the appointment time. During the waiting period, you will be instructed to change clothes and wear a gown or a rob and remove metallic accessories like jewelry and pins. Before the test starts, the healthcare providers will take a complete health history of yours. If you feel troubled being confined in a small place, you must tell your health care provider about it. They may give you some sedative drugs.
During the procedure, they may inject a dye that makes imaging more visible. You will have to lie on your chest with your breasts fitted in holes. During the test, you would not feel any rays, but you will be hearing loud sounds. To avoid that, you may be given headphones. You will be able to talk to the technician with a microphone. Also, you will be given an emergency bell on hand. If you have any trouble breathing or any other difficulties, you can ring the bell. The breast MRI mostly takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete. If you need to get radiological imaging done, you can get CT scan in Karachi.