How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
To prepare for a breast MRI, your doctor may recommend that you:
- Schedule your MRI for the beginning of your menstrual cycle. If you're premenopausal, the MRI facility may prefer to schedule your MRI at a certain point during your menstrual cycle, around days seven to 14. Let the facility know where you are in your cycle so that optimal timing for the breast MRI can be arranged.
- Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Most MRI procedures use a dye to make the images easier to interpret. The dye is usually given through a vein in your arm. Tell your doctor about any allergies to avoid complications with the dye.
- Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems. A dye commonly used to enhance MRI images called gadolinium can cause serious complications in people with kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney problems.
- Tell your doctor if you're pregnant. MRI generally isn't recommended for women who are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you're nursing. If you're nursing, your doctor will likely recommend that you stop for two days after your MRI. This gives your body time to eliminate the contrast dye and minimize the risk to your baby.
- Don't wear anything metallic during the MRI. Metallic objects, such as necklaces, hairpins and watches, can be damaged during an MRI. Leave metallic objects at home or remove them before your MRI.
- Tell your doctor about implanted medical devices. If you have an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, implanted drug port or artificial joint, tell your doctor before your MRI.
- MRI of the breast. Radiology Info. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=breastmr. Accessed May 27, 2011.
- Philpotts LE. Comprehensive breast imaging 2010. Seminars in Roentgenology. 2011;46:7.
- Saslow D, et al. American Cancer Society guidelines for breast screening with MRI as an adjunct to mammography. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2007;57:75.
- Yau EJ, et al. The utility of breast MRI as a problem-solving tool. The Breast Journal. 2011;17:273.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 2, 2011.