CAN EVERYONE HAVE AN MRI?
Because MRI uses a strong magnetic field, some people cannot have an MRI exam. People with cardiac pacemakers or other stimulatory devices cannot be scanned. People with some types of metal implants may be excluded or need to give the type of metal or implant information to the scheduler. See contraindications to find out if you are eligible for an MRI.
HOW LONGS DOES A SCAN LAST?
A typical scan lasts from 30-45 minutes. It may seem like a long to time to lie still, but we assure you that the experience is really quite comfortable.
WHAT IS IT LIKE INSIDE THE MRI MACHINE?
At first glance, an MRI machine can look a little intimidating. And there’s no getting around it, they’re just plain loud. But rest assured, it is a completely painless procedure. We’ll provide you with headphones so you can drown out the noise with some relaxing music.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY MRI?
- You may eat normally and take any medications as usual.
- You may dress in loose, comfortable clothing.
- Depending on the scan ordered, your exam will last 20-60 minutes. You will be positioned on a padded table, which slides into the scanner. The technologist will talk to you during the exam and you will be able to talk to the technologist. A report will be sent to your doctor as soon as it is available.
WILL MY INSURANCE PAY FOR AN MRI?
Most insurances will pay for an MRI or MRA examination. Michigan Resonance Imaging participates with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Medicare, Medicaid, Capp Care, PPOM, HAP and Preferred Choices, to name a few. We will provide scans for commercial and auto workers’ compensation insurances. If you have any questions about your insurance, please call 248-299-8000.
WHAT IS A BREAST MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI is a noninvasive way to image that, unlike mammography, does not use X-rays to make the images. No radioactivity is involved, and the technique is believed to have no health hazards in general. A combination of steady and changing magnetic fields and pulsing radio signals produce images of any body part. With MRI, the contrast between soft tissues in the breast is 10 to 100 times greater than that obtained with X-rays.
WHY WAS BREAST MRI STARTED? ISN'T MAMOGRAPHY GOOD ENOUGH?
Mammography has developed an excellent history as a low cost, easily accessible method which identifies malignancy early. If you have routine mammography, this will not prevent cancer, but will allow early identification of developing cancer so that treatment is initiated early with greatly enhanced outcomes. HOWEVER, there are certain advantages to breast MRI, which is complementary to mammography. Mammographic detection of cancer in women with “dense breasts” (more fibroglandular tissue) is much more difficult, as it may be hidden by the normal tissues. The American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines refer to this as an indication for findings that are clinically and mammographically unable to be detected. The ACR also has indicated breast MRI for women with identified cancer for characterization; following certain therapies; women with specific genetic predisposition; women with breast augmentation; post-lumpectomy; axillary adenopathy; and other issues related to known breast cancers.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET A BREAST MRI?
A patient is screened as for any MRI but also asked questions specifically for breast MRI, such as last menstrual period, any treatment therapies, and what other breast exams have already occurred. You will have an IV started, as a very mild contrast agent will be injected during the procedure. The technologist will then assist you to lie face down on a specially designed MRI breast coil. The function of the coil is to pick up the electrical signals coming from the breast to make the images. You will hear a series of buzzing and knocking noises as the images are being made. Around 3,000 images are taken in around 35 minutes and sent to a special computer. The studies are interpreted by one of our board certified radiologists and a report is sent to the referring physician.
HOW ACCURATE IS BREAST MRI?
Breast MRI is very sensitive for most cancers and rarely misses them, with some exceptions such as “in-situ” cancer (which is demonstrated on mammography by microcalcifications very effectively), lobular cancer and low grade malignancies. Some benign conditions such as fibrocystic disease can take up injected contrast and look like cancer. Another factor that affects MRI images is hormones that stimulate uptake of the dye, which may lead to a false positive. That is why we ask our patients many questions during the scheduling of their appointment.
WHY DO MRI? ISN'T A BIOPSY THE MOST ACCURATE METHOD OF DIAGNOSIS?
While biopsy is the final confirmation of the diagnosis, a biopsy result can only be counted on as accurate when the correct area is biopsied. MRI identifies those areas requiring biopsy.
SHOULD EVERY WOMAN HAVE A BREAST MRI?
No. The ACR is currently not recommending breast MRI for screening of the general asymptomatic population. Most insurance will pay only for specific clinical indications and the test is very expensive.
WHERE CAN I HAVE A BREAST MRI PERFORMED?
Breast MRI needs to be performed on at least a 1.5 T Magnet by professionals specially trained in Breast MRI with a special breast imaging coil. As a health care consumer, you should also realize that interpretation of breast MRI depends on the training and experience of the radiologist. Ideally, the radiologist should interpret mammography (ACR certified) and MRI. Finally, you should ask how the facility deals with tumors that can only be seen by MRI. The facility should make Breast MRI needle localization or percutaneous biopsy available in the event the patient’s physician is unable to use other modalities to identify the lesion, to assist in finding and sampling these abnormalities.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE IMAGE QUALITY OF A MOBILE MRI SCAN VS. A FIXED MRI?
No, there is no difference in the image quality between Michigan Resonance Imaging mobile MRIs and fixed site MRIs. Our mobile MRI units are NEW Siemens 1.5 Tesla Magnetom Symphonies, with superb image quality ranked second to none.