How you prepare

By 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 may recommend that you stop for two days after your MRI. The American College of Radiology states that the risk to the baby from the contrast dye is extremely low. However, if you're concerned, stop breast-feeding for 12 to 24 hours after the MRI, which will give your body time to eliminate the contrast dye. You may pump and discard your milk during this period. You can pump and store milk before the procedure to feed 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.
Aug. 22, 2013