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Topic: Breast MRI With An ICD Implant - Questions/Advice

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Feb 6, 2020 05:19AM

barb3246 wrote:

I got an ICD (a CRT-D to be exact) implanted in April 2019 for cardiomyopathy, and both the leads and device are MRI-compatible. I am also high risk for breast cancer so have been getting alternating breast MRIs and mammograms every 6 months for the last 10 years or so.

I am due for my annual breast MRI in March but I'm not sure if I should try to do it or not. I'm a little nervous about the whole thing, with having to get a device tech to put the ICD in and out of safe mode for the MRI, and I'm a bit nervous that an MRI will damage the device in some way, or the leads will move or something. Things seems to be going ok with the device so I don't want to do anything to rock the boat, but I'm also nervous about not getting screened.

I am wondering if the MRI images will be clear enough since the device is right over my left breast. My breast doctor seemed reluctant to order it and just said he wasn't sure what was involved and if the quality of the images would be useful. He also said that there is no data that breast MRIs save lives. So now I'm not sure what to do. The alternative would be to get a screening breast ultrasound, but I'm not sure if that is as accurate as a breast MRI for someone with heterogeneously dense breasts like me. Or I could just skip both and just do my yearly mammogram in the fall.

Does anyone have any experience with getting a breast MRI with a pacemaker or ICD? How about a screening breast ultrasound? Is an ultrasound as accurate as a breast MRI?

Any advice or comments would be appreciated.



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