Breast MRI scans
The London Clinic has a state of the art imaging department providing our patients and referring doctors with a comprehensive range of investigations to cater for our patients’ individual needs.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanning technique that can be used to generate diagnostic images of the breast.
Although not used for routine breast screening, an MRI scan can reveal breast tumours that are too small to detect through physical examinations or are difficult to see on traditional mammograms.
An MRI scan does not take the place of a mammogram, but it can be performed as an extra study of your breast.
A breast MRI is a scan specifically focused on the breasts, always scanning both breast at once following a contrast injection to produce the most optimal pictures.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
An MRI scan uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate images of the interior of your breast.
It does not use X-rays, so there is no risk of being exposed to radiation when you have an MRI scan. The images produced are virtual ‘slices’ through the breast, taken at every possible angle.
These are then put together by a computer to build up an accurate 3-dimensional image of the breast tissue.
MRI scanning is very sensitive and can detect tiny breast tumours, much smaller than those that show up on a mammogram.
It is also able to detect breast cancer in the denser breasts of younger women.
- An MRI scan is more sensitive to changes in the breast, so can detect breast tumours that are very small.
- It is a more reliable screen for breast cancer in women who have breast implants or scar tissue as these can confuse the analysis of a mammogram.
- Early stage breast cancer can be identified in younger women who have dense breast tissue that makes mammography difficult.
- MRI scanning can reveal if there are any other breast tumours in the breast of a woman who is due to have surgery to remove an obvious lump .
- The technique is sensitive enough to tell the difference between scar tissue and recurrent breast tumours in women already treated for breast cancer.
- MRI scanning can be used to find out if a breast cancer found by mammography or ultrasound has spread beyond the breast.
- MRI scanning can be used to monitor the size of breast tumours in women being treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This can show how well the current treatment is working.
Not everyone is suitable for an MRI scan and it is important that you let us know if you have the following risk factors:
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Heart valves
- Cochlear implant
- Surgery involving metal implants in the last six weeks
- Possible or confirmed pregnancy
- Injuries involving metallic fragments in the eyes
- Gunshot or shrapnel injuries
Before you lie down, a small plastic cannula will be inserted into your arm for the IV contrast injection however, the actual injection is not administered until close to the end of the scan.
You will be asked to lie face down on a table, placing your breasts into position onto a specific breast cradle. The table will move through the cylinder to the required position.
The scan will take approximately 30 minutes.
Multiplanar images of the breasts will be acquired without the use of ionising radiation that will assist the clinician in diagnosing and planning treatment.
MRI can successfully image dense breasts common in younger women, as well as breast implants, both of which are difficult to image using traditional mammography.
The scan will be reported by a specialist consultant radiologist and the results will be forwarded to the referring clinician within 24 hours.