MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy technology is used to help guide the Radiologist to the area of concern. A biopsy of the abnormal cells is not used to remove the entire lesion but to obtain a small sample of the abnormality for laboratory analysis. A biopsy under MRI guidance may be used when there is a suspicious mass not identified by other imaging techniques.

Your MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy

For your MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy appointment, you should plan on being in the center for a couple of hours, which will include all pre-and post-procedure care. The procedure itself can take up to an hour. During this time you will be lying still on your stomach on the scanning table similar to your diagnostic MRI. The technologist will capture the initial images, administer contrast fluid intravenously, and then take additional images.

The radiologist will then use imaging techniques to locate the suspicious tissue. Once the exact location of the abnormality has been pinpointed, the area will be cleansed with a sterilizing solution and numbed with anesthetic.

Typically, multiple tissue samples will be collected with a single needle. These samples will be sent to and interpreted by a pathologist. After the tissue samples have been removed, the radiologist may place a small metallic marker (smaller than a grain of rice) at the biopsy site as a reference point for future imaging, and confirms that the area of concern has been biopsied. Following your procedure, a mammogram will be performed to document the position of the marker.

How to Prepare for Your Procedure

When you schedule your procedure, we will review your health history and any medications you are currently taking. On the day of your procedure, you may eat and drink normally.

Please wear a comfortable, loose fitting two-piece outfit. A gown will be provided as you will be asked to remove your top prior to the procedure. Please refrain from wearing any powder, perfume, deodorant and/or lotion on your underarms and breasts prior to the procedures. Since the MRI is a magnet please let us know if you have any metal in or on your body. Be sure to wear pants without any  metal (sweats or yoga pants) and remove and leave jewelry and other metal objects at home. A locker will be provided for your belongings.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

Following your MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy, your breast may be slightly tender and you may experience some bruising at the biopsy site. You will need to wear a supportive bra and keep the dressing that covers  your incision clean and dry for the first 24 - 48 hours. You should ice the biopsy site following the procedure. Detailed self-care instructions will be provided to you immediately following your biopsy.

Avoid any strenuous activity for 48 hours following your procedure, especially activities that involve repetitive movement of the chest and arms, such as lifting, vacuuming, swimming and exercising.

Additional Resources: www.radiologyinfo.org