We’ve discussed some of the key players in your breast imaging recently. Hero: You. Helpers: mammography technologists, radiologists, schedulers, QA, receptionists… You are flanked by caring professionals who want what’s best for you!
Another person we would like to introduce is our MR technologist. Occasionally breast imaging requires an MRI examination of the breasts. (Approximately 10% of women require an MRI.)
For breast MRI, the technologist is specially trained in MRI – all of the anatomy, imaging parameters, physics, safety issues, and IV contrast safety. Many of these individuals start out first as radiology technologists - undergoing all of that training and certification first. In addition, the technologists involved in breast MRI are specially trained on positioning of the breast in the MRI coil which is critical. These dedicated technologists evaluate the images for positioning, check for motion or blurring and help make sure the images (lots of them -!) are of good quality.
We talked to some of our breast MRI techs and they had a few kind words they wanted to share with you. First, they are grateful for the opportunity to help you on the road to your best possible health. They like what they do for a living - because what they do makes a difference.
They said the best way they can help take care of you is by working with you - a lot of conversation and communication helps all involved. Because the MR procedure requires laying still, face-down with arms extended overhead or along side your body for approximately 30 minutes, it’s important to be as comfortable as possible. They have blankets and cushions for comfort, and it’s much better to get everything arranged at the start of the test. This will hopefully make it possible for you to get through the test without the need for re-positioning and re-starting.
The best MR techs (and we are proud to say we work with some pretty awesome ones!) will work hard to make sure that if you require a breast MR you don’t worry. This is done by setting expectations and sharing knowledge. As one tech put it, “I don’t want to talk over anyone’s head - I think of how I would explain something to a family member.” As your teammate in the exam experience, they will ask about your history and any other imaging or surgical tests. If you have questions - they will try their best to answer them!
During the course of a breast MR, many hundreds of images are taken and then analyzed as a set. Often multiple doctors review the set of images for a complete evaluation. While we are able to provide results on mammography and breast ultrasound at the time of the exam, MR results take longer to complete. While there is a wait - it’s worth everyone’s time!
Your breast MR technologist are specially trained, dedicated individuals. They want what’s best for you - and rest assured they will do everything they can to guide you gently through their part of the road to your best possible health.
Originally published on mammographykc.com.