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MRI-guided Breast Wire Localization

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI or MR) -guided wire localization is used by your physician, just prior to surgery, to locate an area of interest for surgery. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI or MR) combines a powerful magnet with an advanced computer system and radio waves to produce accurate, detailed pictures of organs and tissues to diagnose a variety of medical conditions and guide patient care. Wire localization helps serve as a guide for your surgeon and ensure that the surgery is successful in removing the abnormal tissue, while minimizing the amount of normal breast tissue removed. The surgeon will remove the wire along with abnormal tissue in the operating room. 

 

The MRI Experience

If you have not had an MRI exam before, chances are you have questions about what to expect. Here, you’ll find information on how to prepare and what to expect during and after your exam.

  • A breast care specialist will contact you before your procedure to gather your health history and to help you prepare for your procedure. They will provide personalized instructions and review health and insurance information.
  • Because of the magnetic field, you will be required to wear metal-free clothing, or to change into a gown. You also will be asked to remove any metallic objects, such as jewelry, watches and hair clips.
  • On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early to check-in and bring prior imaging results with you, if instructed. 
  • Your technologist will talk through a MRI safety checklist with you.  Inform your technologist of prior surgeries or metal implants, such as pacemakers or aneurysm clips.
  • You will lie face down on a cushioned table and an image-enhancing device will be placed around your breast. Once you are comfortably positioned, the table will move into the MRI opening.
  • Once you are comfortably positioned, the technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite. You will be able to communicate with the technologist throughout the exam.
  • At this time, the MRI table you are on will move into the scanner and the technologist will take the images to locate the area of interest. 
  • It is important to lie as still as possible during this part of the exam to help us capture clear images. It is important to lie as still as possible during this part of the exam to help capture clear images. You will hear “knocking” or “buzzing” sounds for a few minutes at a time. The technologist will communicate with you throughout the exam.
  • When you come out of the scanner, your skin will be cleansed with antiseptic and the area where the wire will be placed will be numbed.
  • A radiologist will utilize MRI imaging to place a needle into abnormal tissue in the breast. Once the needle is in position, a thin wire is placed through the needle. The needle is then removed, leaving the wire in place to be used as a guide for the surgeon during a breast biopsy procedure.

Once the localization is complete, it will serve as a guide for your surgeon who will remove the wire along with abnormal tissue in the operating room.


Questions about your procedure, preparation or follow-up care?

Please call the center where your exam is scheduled.