Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Hawthorne, NJ
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It is a process wherein the combination of a magnetic field and radio waves are used to generate an image of the breast.
- MRIs may be used in conjunction with other screening methods such as mammograms or ultrasounds when a suspicious lump is present. This can help avoid more invasive testing procedures such as a biopsy that may be unnecessary with benign results.
- MRIs can find breast conditions such as tissue damage, infections, inflammation, or a lump.
- MRI can be used to evaluate a tumor, or monitor a tumor over time.
- Your doctor may recommend an MRI for younger women with dense breast tissue.
- They can help us determine what stage a cancerous growth may be in.
- MRI screenings help monitor the progress of breast cancer treatment.
- They are recommended for patients with a high risk for developing breast cancer. A patient is considered high risk when they test positive for having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, or when they have two or more close relatives who contracted breast or ovarian cancer before the age of 50.
The Breast MRI Procedure
Before the examination you will be instructed to remove any jewelry, watches, hearing aids, or any other metallic object that may be affected by the magnetic output of the MRI machine. After dressing in a hospital gown, you'll lie down on an exam table and then slid into the scanner.
The monitoring process usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. During that time you will hear a series of thumping noises and fans, and feel air circulating throughout the device. You may be instructed to hold your breath for brief periods of time.
In some instances, a contrast material may be introduced though an IV prior to the scan. This substance is used to highlight areas of potentially abnormal blood flow.
If you have anxiety about being within enclosed spaces for extended periods of time, your doctor may additionally administer a sedative. If you are feeling tense during the procedure, an MRI technician may be available any time via a speaker built into the scanner.
MRI - Things to Know
MRI scans are safe, but they also yield a high amount of false positive results that may lead to additional unnecessary testing.
The magnetic fields emitted by MRIs may affect pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), artificial limbs, or anything that contains iron.
It is not recommended to have an MRI performed if you think you might be pregnant.
Some contrast dyes used may affect people with kidney problems, or may cause an allergic reaction in some patients.
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