Breast Ultrasound & MRI

Our specially trained team uses a variety of screening tools – including the breast ultrasound and MRI – to further evaluate breast abnormalities.

Breast Ultrasound

This exam uses high frequency sound waves to look inside and produce pictures of the breast. Breast ultrasound is useful in defining the characteristics of a lump felt during a breast exam to determine if the lump is a cyst or solid mass that might require a biopsy. Breast ultrasound can also help assess an abnormality found on a screening mammogram or MRI to see if the suspicious area is a cyst or solid mass.

Preparation for breast ultrasound: You will be asked to undress from the waist up and wear a gown.

Breast MRI

This is a non-invasive exam that uses a powerful magnetic field to help create three-dimensional pictures of the inside of the breast. These pictures can be examined on a computer monitor. There is no radiation to the patient undergoing breast MRI. The exam can provide important information about breast conditions that may or may not be available with mammography or breast ultrasound. Breast MRI can be helpful to:

  • Determine the full extent of malignant disease in the affected and opposite breast in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients
  • Identify early breast cancer in high risk patients and patients with less dense breasts
  • Further evaluate abnormalities incompletely assessed on ultrasound and mammography
  • Assess the effectiveness of chemotherapy
  • Determine the integrity of breast implants

Preparation for breast MRI

  • Jewelry, watches, credit cards, hearing aids, pins, zippers and other metallic items such as pens, body piercings, eyeglasses, and pocket knives must be removed before the exam to limit distortion of images.
  • Patients with pacemakers, defibrillators, cochlear ear implants and some brain aneurysm clips cannot be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area.
  • To effectively assess the breasts for malignant disease, contrast material must be administered. If your kidney function is abnormal, we may not be able to do the exam.
  • If you have a history of kidney disease or are more than 65 years old, your kidney function will be tested prior to administering contrast for your breast MRI.