What is Breast MRI?

What is Breast MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Fairfax Radiology is proud to offer Breast MRI as one of the latest tools for the diagnosis and management of breast cancer. It is a highly sensitive, noninvasive test and may be performed as a complement to Mammography and Ultrasound when a physician needs more information than other imaging studies can provide. A Breast MRI is a particularly powerful tool for screening women in certain high-risk categories.

At Fairfax Radiology, our precisely focused, high-resolution images offer a more accurate diagnosis, which leads to a more customized treatment plan. Our faster MRI scanning capability means less time in the scanner for our patients.

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Why would my physician recommend a Breast MRI?

Your physician may recommend a Breast MRI:

  • If you are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer
  • If you have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer
  • If you or one of your first-degree relatives is a carrier of a genetic abnormality, such as BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, which are linked to a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer
  • If you have received radiation to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30
  • If you have a suspected rupture of a breast implant
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How is a Breast MRI different from an Ultrasound or Mammogram?

Unlike a Mammogram, which uses X-ray waves or an Ultrasound, which uses sound waves, an MRI uses intravenous contrast, a very strong magnetic field, simple radio waves and a powerful computer to produce detailed images of the breast's soft tissue. An MRI can detect cancers that cannot be seen by Mammography or Ultrasound.

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What should I expect during a Breast MRI?

If this is your first MRI, you may not be sure what to expect. Not to worry, we are here to guide you every step of the way. You will lie facedown on a special table and will be guided into the MRI scanner feet first, head facing out. You will receive a contrast agent (dye) through an IV in your arm. The MRI machine does generate loud noises as images are captured. All patients are given ear plugs to wear while in the MRI machine. The exam will take approximately 30 minutes.

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What should I expect after the Breast MRI?

Once the exam is complete, you may resume your normal activity level. Our Radiologist will interpret your study and send the final report to your physician.

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How do I schedule a Breast MRI with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

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When are appointments offered for a Breast MRI?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons and weekends at the locations listed above. Learn more about each location.

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Can I bring my children to my imaging appointment?

All imaging procedures require that only the patient remain in the room during the exam. Because the patient requires our full attention, we cannot provide supervision for any accompanying children. If you wish to bring your children, you must arrange for another adult to supervise your children during your procedure. Families of Obstetrical patients will be allowed in the room for a limited period of time, but only when an adult accompanies the minor children.

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