Breast MRI

Breast MRI

For Appointments, Call 866.596.8456. 

For Copies of Images or Radiologist Reports, Call 845.368.5000 (ext.) 6120.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast — or breast MRI — is a test used to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities in the breast.

A breast MRI usually is performed after you have a biopsy that's positive for cancer and your doctor needs more information about the extent of the disease. In certain situations, such as for women with a high risk of breast cancer, have a very strong family history of breast cancer or carry a hereditary breast cancer gene mutation, a breast MRI may be used with mammograms as a screening tool for detecting breast cancer.

Why it's done

A breast MRI is most often used to screen for breast cancer in women thought to have a high risk of the disease. A breast MRI may also be used to assess the extent of breast cancer.

Your doctor may recommend a breast MRI if:

  • You've been diagnosed with breast cancer and your doctor wants to determine the extent of the cancer
  • You have a suspected leak or rupture of a breast implant
  • You're at high risk of breast cancer, defined as a lifetime risk of 20 percent or greater, as calculated by risk tools that take your family history and other factors into consideration
  • You have a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • You have very dense breast tissue, and mammograms didn't detect a prior breast cancer
  • You have a history of precancerous breast changes — such as atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ — and a strong family history of breast cancer and dense breast tissue
  • You have a hereditary breast cancer gene mutation (e.g., BRCA1 or BRCA2)
  • You have had radiation treatments to your chest area before age 30

A breast MRI is intended to be used in addition to a mammogram or another breast-imaging test — not as a replacement for a mammogram. We promise to make your MRI as seamless and as pleasant as we can. If you have any questions or concerns, just let us know.

Hours and appointments

Good Samaritan Hospital
255 Lafayette Avenue, first floor 
Suffern, NY 10901

Open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For appointments and insurance inquiry: 866.596.8456

What do I bring?

You’ll need your insurance information, the prescription for the procedure from your doctor (a phone order from your doctor is acceptable, too), and a referral if your insurance requires it. Please bring all results from previous MRI, mammographic and sonographic procedures. If your previous images are from another facility, please bring CDs or films three days prior to your procedure.

How do I prepare?

Do not eat or drink for four hours prior to your procedure. If you have allergies, please let the scheduler know when you make your appointment. If you are not menopausal, you must be 5-15 days from the onset of your period (day one being the first day of your period).

What will happen during my Breast MRI?

  • Before your MRI, we will ask you to change into an examination gown. We will also have you remove watches, removable dental work, hearing aids, glasses, wallet and all jewelry (except silver or gold rings).
  • Just before your exam, we’ll ask you questions about your medical history and possible contraindications. A technologist will explain the exam to you and what to expect, and he or she will ask you to sign a consent form.
  • You will need blood work done within two weeks of the exam if you are 65 years or older, or if you have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney or liver failure or any blood disorders.
  • While the MRI exam itself is painless, you will get an injection of contrast material part way through the exam. The contrast material helps us obtain additional information for your doctor.
  • Keep in mind, an MRI involves close surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable in these situations, you should ask your physician to prescribe something to help you before arriving. If he or she prescribes sedation medication for you, please follow your physician's and/or medical provider's recommendations and instructions carefully.

How long does the Breast MRI exam take?

Approximately 30 to 60 minutes. During the exam, you will hear a loud knocking sound like a drum beat. The technologist will speak to you intermittently during the procedure. It is imperative to remain still at this time.

How do I get the results of my Breast MRI?

When the scan is finished, we review the images for quality. Please know, the technologist will not discuss the results with you. A radiologist will study the images and report the results to your physician and/or medical provider.