Breast MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) generates detailed, multi-dimensional images of the breast’s soft tissue. These images are produced within a powerful magnetic field that surrounds you as you lie in an MRI machine. By using radiofrequency waves, MRI can often facilitate the diagnosis of disorders or diseases within the body that are not clearly detectable by X-rays or CT scans.

The most advanced MRI technology, comfortably.

Breast MRI has become an important tool in the diagnosis of breast cancer. When used in conjunction with screening and diagnostic mammography, it can provide information valuable to the detection and characterization of breast disease. We perform this noninvasive exam at Greenville MRI, a convenient outpatient location that adjoins our nationally recognized Breast Imaging Center. The goal of our highly trained technologists is to quickly and safely perform your exam for interpretation by our specialized mammographers. As part of our commitment to provide the most advanced imaging technology, we installed the latest Philips open wide-bore scanner in 2015. At 70cm, it has one of the largest, most comfortable spaces available for patients. And with a dedicated breast coil for exceptional image quality and the latest scanning software, we’re the clear choice for your MRI.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the potential risks?

In most instances, MRI is not dangerous, and no major health risks are associated with the magnetic field or radio waves. Certain circumstances, however, may limit the use of a magnetic field. It is important to let us know if anything listed in the preparations section pertains to you or anyone accompanying you into the examination area.

Will my insurance cover an MRI?

Most major insurers will cover MRI exams, although some require prior authorization for particular procedures. Best practice is to check with your primary care providers or the specialists ordering diagnostic studies to determine if this step is required with your insurance plan. Prior authorizations, when not handled properly, may result in the rescheduling of some appointments. You may have to submit partial or full payment at time of service.

As a courtesy to our patients, we file all insurance claims, but we do ask that you bring your insurance card to each exam. Patients are responsible for all services not covered by insurance. Eastern Radiologists participates with most major healthcare plans. For questions about coverage or payment, please call our business office at 252.752.5000.

I’ve heard MRI is very uncomfortable. Should I be nervous?

MRI is safe, painless and—for most people—entirely comfortable. Some patients may experience anxiety or claustrophobia. In such instances, medication such as Valium can be administered to reduce stress or uneasiness. If you receive a sedative, you will need to arrive one hour early and have a driver that can stay with you for the duration of the appointment.

Schedule an appointment.

Please have your doctor schedule your appointment for this service. If you have questions about your appointment or need to reschedule call 252.752.5000. This service is offered at the following locations:

Prepare for your appointment.

All patients must have had a bilateral mammogram within the last three months.

It’s important to let us know if any of the following pertain to you or anyone accompanying you into the examination area:

  • Aneurysm clips
  • Artificial joints or metallic plates*
  • Cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator or artificial heart valve
  • Ear implant
  • Metal in the eye or a history of grinding or welding (patients who have had metal removed from their eyes will need to arrive one hour early to have X-rays of their eyes to clear them for the MRI exam)
  • Insulin or other infusion pump
  • Intrauterine birth control device
  • Metal plate, pin or other metallic implant*
  • Permanent tattoo eye-liner
  • Prior gunshot wound
  • Pregnancy

*Any metallic substance in the body can diminish the quality of diagnostic images or could cause pain and/or injury, excluding a patient from the procedure. Depending on an individual’s specific situation, it’s best to ask the radiologist if it’s safe to undergo the procedure.

Patients who require anxiety medication such as Valium must arrive one hour early and have a driver that can stay for the duration of the appointment.

In some cases, a contrast agent may be required to enhance MRI images. These FDA-approved agents have been safely used for more than 20 years. You will receive instructions regarding early arrival if contrast is ordered for your study.

Patients who are currently on dialysis will need to ask the MRI staff for special instructions.