Breast MRI

What is a Breast MRI?

A Breast MRI looks specifically at the breast and offers valuable information about many breast conditions by compiling hundreds of images, all cross-sectional in all three directions that cannot be obtained through mammography or ultrasound. The MRI produces no radiation and the procedure has no known hazards to your health. A typical Breast MRI takes approximately 90 minutes.

MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.

Uses for a Breast MRI

Evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography

  • Identify early breast cancer not detected through other means, especially in women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for the disease
  • Screen for cancer in women who have implants or scar tissue that might jeopardize an accurate result from a mammogram
  • Determine the integrity of breast implants
  • Distinguish between scar tissue and recurrent tumors
  • Assess multiple tumor locations
  • Look for multiple tumors prior to breast reconstruction surgery
  • Determine whether cancer detected by mammography or ultrasound has spread further in the breast or into the chest wall
  • Determine how much cancer has spread beyond the surgical site after a breast biopsy or lumpectomy
  • Provide additional information on a diseased breast to make treatment decisions

Without contrast material, an MRI of the breast can show:

  • Breast tissue density
  • Cysts
  • Enlarged ducts
  • Hematomas
  • Leaking or ruptured breast implants

By comparing breast images taken before and after contrast material injection, an MRI of the breast can determine:

  • If there are breast abnormalities
  • Whether an abnormality looks benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous)
  • The size and location of any abnormality that looks malignant
  • The presence of enlarged lymph nodes

Breast MRIs should always supplement, not replace, standard screening and diagnostic procedures such as clinical and self-exams, as well as mammograms. 

Before You Arrive

Save Time! To expedite your check in process, completed your Registration online through our Patient Portal.

After the Exam

Once your scan is complete, a Radiologist will examine the images. Your physician will receive the images and reports via PACS and fax. Contact your physician directly to discuss your results. Results are also available through the Patient Portal. Allow 3 to 5 business days.


Schedule an Appointment

We invite you to experience the UCI difference. With two locations to serve you, University Center Imaging has the specialized staff necessary to assist with all your imaging needs. Schedule your appointment today with a member of the UCI Scheduling Team.