Your healthcare provider has recommended you for an MRI guided breast biopsy. MRI offers valuable information about many breast conditions that cannot be obtained by other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound. The goal of this biopsy is to remove a small sample of tissue for testing. This small tissue sample can help diagnose abnormalities such as infection, inflammation or malignancy.
During the exam, a radiologist from our team of sub-specialized physicians here in the Treasure Valley will utilize the MRI scanner to accurately guide a needle to the biopsy site and remove a tissue sample.
This exam does not use any radiation, but does involve:
- An IV to administer contrast if necessary
- A needle to numb the area and to remove a tissue sample
Before Arriving for Your Biopsy
We encourage patients to utilize the IMI online registration option where you will be able to complete the MRI Screening Questionnaire before you come to our office in Boise or Meridian. This will help speed up your registration process.
If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your front for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. Please let the IMI Team know of any concerns upon scheduling your appointment, so we can make certain you have what you need to complete your exam successfully.
- We don’t anticipate a long wait time, however we want to make any waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music with headphones to help you pass the time.
- Do not take aspirin or aspirin related medications for 7 days before your procedure. Please discuss any changes to your medication with your physician.
- Do not take vitamin E products for 7 days before your procedure.
- Unless you are told otherwise, take all additional regular medications as usual.
- Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
- You will be asked to wear scrubs during the exam.
- Please bring along a sports bra or camisole to wear over the post-biopsy wrap
Please tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or radiologist of any allergies you may have and if you are pregnant or nursing.
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire which will determine if an MRI is safe for you. People with various implants (usually metallic), body piercings or with metal in their bodies (including some tattoos) may have difficulty with an MRI – which utilizes a strong magnetic field. The imaging physician needs to be informed of any of these potential problems.
An IV will be started.
You will get a thorough explanation of the procedure and the radiologist will answer any questions you may have before you are asked to sign a consent for the exam.
During the Biopsy
An MRI machine consists of a large cylinder shaped tube with a moveable table that slides into the center of the machine. For this exam, you will be asked to lie face down on the scanning table. A moderate amount of compression will be applied to the affected breast intended for biopsy. The scanning table will slide your whole body into the magnet.
During the scan, you will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Headphones will be provided to help mask the noise and to allow you to listen to music. As your images are taken, you must hold very still, in some cases, you will be asked to breathe shallowly with no deep breaths.
The exact location of the area of interest will be identified and the area where the needle will be placed will be numbed. Another set of images will then be obtained to confirm we are in the correct area. The radiologist will then insert the needle to remove a tissue sample. A small titanium marker or clip will be placed to mark the area that was biopsied. A pressure bandage and wrap will be applied after the procedure, as well as an ice pack.
The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.
After Your Biopsy
You will proceed to Mammography so images can be taken of the biopsy clip or marker placement. After observation, the IV will be removed and post biopsy instructions will be given.
It is only necessary to have a driver if your referring doctor prescribed sedation medication for this exam. There are no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat or drive as normal.
- The pressure bandage can be removed the next day. Allow the steri strips to fall off on their own in 3 or 4 days.
- You can wear a bra, but not an underwire bra after the procedure.
- Do not shower or bathe for 24 hours after the biopsy.
- Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen for 48 hours after the biopsy.
- No strenuous activities for 48 hours.
- Soreness and/or bruising is expected and can be alleviated with an over the counter pain reliever and by applying an ice pack to the site.
- The tissue sample will be sent to the laboratory for examination. These results will be shared with your referring physician within 24-48 hours.
Your healthcare provider will review the results with you.