Mission Regional Medical Center uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as
a diagnostic tool to produce in-depth images of organs, bones, soft tissue,
and the rest of the internal body structure. This noninvasive test combines
the use of a powerful magnetic fields with a radio frequency pulse to
make the pictures. It provides a good contrast between different soft
tissues in the body which doctors find especially useful when looking
at the brain, muscles, heart, and breasts.
Patients are asked to disrobe and put on a traditional hospital gown before
lying on a table outside of the MRI machine. Once you are flat and comfortable,
the table will move inside the machine. You may be asked to hold your
breath for short periods of time. It is very important that you remain
calm and as still as possible during the scans so that clear images are produced.
The images will then be displayed electronically on a computer monitor
and electronically copied to your medical records. Your doctor is able
to get a detailed look at the area of concern to determine the presence
of certain diseases that may not show as easily with other imaging methods
(i.e. ultrasound, x-ray, or CAT scan.)
MRIs are performed on the breast to obtain valuable information about different
conditions that often do not show with an ultrasound or mammogram. An
MRI does not replace those types of imaging tests, but rather is used
as a supplement. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, your doctor
might order an MRI in addition to an ultrasound and mammogram.