Purpose: There is little consensus regarding preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in breast cancer (BC). We examined the association between preoperative MRI and local recurrence (LR) as primary outcome, as well as distant recurrence (DR), in patients with BC. Methods: An individual person data (IPD) meta-analysis, based on preoperative MRI studies that met predefined eligibility criteria, was performed. Survival analysis (Cox proportional hazards modeling) was used to investigate time to recurrence and to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for MRI. We modeled the univariable association between LR (or DR) and MRI, and covariates, and fitted multivariable models to estimate adjusted HRs. Sensitivity analysis was based on women who had breast conservation with radiotherapy. Results: Four eligible studies contributed IPD on 3,180 affected breasts in 3,169 subjects (median age, 56.2 years). Eight-year LR-free survival did not differ between the MRI (97%) and no-MRI (95%) goups (P = .87), and the multivariable model showed no significant effect of MRI on LR-free survival: HR for MRI (versus no-MRI) was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.52 to 1.51; P = .65); age, margin status, and tumor grade were associated with LR-free survival (all P < .05). HR for MRI was 0.96 (95% CI, 0.52 to 1.77; P = .90) in sensitivity analysis. Eight-year DR-free survival did not differ between the MRI (89%) and no-MRI (93%) groups (P = .37), and the multivariable model showed no significant effect of MRI on DR-free survival: HR for MRI (v no-MRI) was 1.18 (95% CI, 0.76 to 2.27; P = .48) or 1.31 (95% CI, 0.76 to 2.27; P = .34) in sensitivity analysis. Conclusion: Preoperative MRI for staging the cancerous breast does not reduce the risk of LR or DR.