UDIAT Diagnostic Center

Magnetic resonance imaging of the breast


Image of a patient undergoing breast radiology

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a physical phenomenon by which certain particles absorb radio frequency electromagnetic energy when placed under a magnetic field. To better understand us, we place the patient on a giant magnet (magnetic field) and through the emission of different noises, we obtain the corresponding images of the area to be studied: in this case, the breast. To do this, we need an accessory (coil) that is placed around the breast, which is responsible for transmitting and receiving the signal (noise) that will later be converted into an image by a computer.

All MRI equipment is installed in a room where we are in contact with the patient through a video camera and an intercom system.


As we said before, the scan is performed under a magnetic field (giant magnet), so there are patients who are contraindicated; That is, there are a number of patients who may NOT undergo this scan under any circumstances:

Patients carrying pacemakers.

Patients carrying cerebral vascular clips or heart valves or cochlear implants (depending on the material).


When is the test indicated?

This study mainly serves to evaluate the extent of breast cancer.

It is performed at:

Patients diagnosed with breast cancer: We value the extent of the cancer, and in this way, proper treatment can be reached quickly.

Patients treated for breast cancer: We evaluate the response to treatment to see if it is effective.

Patients who are due to hereditary factors are at increased risk for breast cancer.


How to prepare?

To perform this study it is necessary to administer an intravenous contrast, called Gadolini, for which it must remain in fasting for 4 - 6 hours before the study.

If you are breastfeeding you can not breastfeed until 72h after the scan, to prevent this contrast from passing to the baby through breast milk.

The contrast is eliminated from the body via the kidneys (through the urine) and no side effects have been described, except in very special cases.

How will we perform the test?

First we will carry out a brief survey to obtain information about your personal data, general condition, if you are a bearer of any surgical implant, ...

Once all this information is complete, we will accompany you to a booth inside the preparation area, to deposit your ferromagnetic objects or clothing, that is, objects that cannot enter the exploration room, such as are: jewelry, watch, credit card, belt, etc. and an open robe will be placed in front of him for the study.

Once inside the MRI room, we will proceed to the placement of a pathway for the administration of the intravenous contrast. The pronation (earthy mouth) should be placed on the exploration bunk, opening the dressing gown to place a breast on each side of the holes consisting of the breast coil.

Image of Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan bunk

It is very important that the breasts rest comfortably on the coil, in order to avoid movements that may degrade the image, which is why the coil should be adjusted to its chest.

Once placed correctly on the stretcher you will enter inside the magnet, but don't worry, it is fully lit and open on both ends.

This test lasts about 30 minutes where you will hear different noises. We will tell you at all times the noise you will hear, the time it will last and we will warn you when contrasting it, as you will feel a cold feeling in your hand.


What will you notice?

All you will notice will be different noises, which are in charge of obtaining the images, and cold by the hand when administering the intravenous contrast.


What do we see? What do we expect?

The RM gives us information that we cannot get from the various tests performed above.

We see more accurately the lesions that we have detected with other diagnostic techniques (mammography, ultrasound, ...), and sometimes we can detect non-visualized lesions.

We also use it to monitor pre-treatment, medical or surgical results. Through this study we will get an overview of the entire mammary structure. RM is the most sensitive technique for assessing breast cancer (that is, it gives us more information when visualizing mammary lesions in terms of size, appearance and area of ​​involvement), but is not the most specific ( he will not tell us what the injury is), since MRI is not a first choice technique, but a complementary test. It should always be accompanied by other radiological examinations such as mammography, ultrasound and especially percutaneous biopsy.

Whenever they have previous evidence, they should bring it on the day of the scan.


Risks and complications during the procedure

This study has no side effects or side effects, it is a very safe exploration for you and with which we get a lot of benefits.

Once magnetic resonance is complete, what do we do?


Once the scan is done you can return to normal life, as this procedure has no side effects, except for the appearance of a (blue) bruise in the area where the pathway has been placed. The results will be sent to your destination center to the attention of the doctor who has requested the scan, in about a week.

If you have any questions ask, we are here to advise you.




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