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Home > UVA Imaging > Exams & Procedures > Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) > Breast MRI

Breast MRI - What to Expect

UVA Imaging is dedicated to ensuring you have the best possible experience with your Breast MRI exam.


Learn about how to prepare for a Breast MRI.

An MRI will not be performed without a current mammogram within one year unless there is a suspected rupture or leak of an implant.

Screening Questions 

The MRI machine contains a very powerful magnet so we must ensure that no metal objects get near the machine. To ensure your safety, you will be asked to complete a screening sheet.

Time with Your Technologist

Before your Breast MRI, the technologist will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have about the exam. 

Intravenous Contrast

An intravenous line (IV) will be placed in your arm or hand to administer contrast.  Contrast helps to visualize possible abnormalities in breast tissue. 

The technologist will inform you during your MRI when the contrast is being given.  The IV is removed at the end of your exam.


You will be asked to lie face down on the table with both arms extended above your head. 

Your breasts will be positioned into two cup-like structures of an imaging device that will aid in creating the images. 

For optimal imaging, the technologist will need to position your breasts so there are no folds in the breast tissue. 

Slight compression may be used to help stabilize your breast tissue and minimize motion. This will not be painful, but please let us know if you are uncomfortable at the beginning of the exam and we will make the adjustments needed for your comfort.

Length of Exam

This exam will take approximately 45 minutes to image both breasts.


The most important thing you can do to make sure your exam is successful is to hold as still as you can throughout the procedure.  Once the scan begins, movement may require that the exam be rescheduled.  Please let us make you as comfortable as possible before we begin.


The machine makes loud thumping noises as it produces the images.  The video below allows you to the hear MRI sound.

You will be offered music and given hearing protection to reduce the noise during your exam.

Questions about your exam?  Call (434) 982-6600 or toll free at (855) 875-7764 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.

Breast MRI Scheduling & Locations

Breast MRIs are performed at the following locations Monday-Friday.  Please inquire about weekend appointments.


The doctor who ordered your exam will provide your results.

If there is a critical finding on your study, your doctor will be notified by our Radiologists. 

If you have not heard from your provider within a reasonable time, please call their office directly.

  • MyChart provides easy, fast Access to your Medical Records.
  • MyVue is your personal imaging portal, providing a secure view of your radiology images from the UVA Health System.
MRI Alert

Extra consideration must be given if you have any of the conditions listed below.  We will work with you to make sure that you are scheduled appropriately.