In This Page:
- Need to Know
- Nice to Know
- Why is This Exam Done?
- What Will Happen During the Exam?
- How Should I Prepare?
- What are the Benefits and Risks?
- Where Can I Get This Exam?
Nuclear Medicine utilizes a small amount of radioisotope combined with a pharmaceutical that is targeted to go to a specific organ. The radiopharmaceutical can be injected, inhaled or swallowed and are absorbed by specific cells within your body. Nuclear Medicine exams differ for other radiological exams in that they provide both functional and structural information. The exams are very sensitive and can detect disease at its earliest stage. The exams are safe, relatively painless and the radiation exposure is similar to that of other diagnostic X-Ray exams.
Need to Know
Nice to Know
What Will Happen During the Exam?
During the first portion of the exam the technologist will ask about any thyroid medications and prior head or neck surgery. The technologist will then have you swallow three radioactive iodine pills that will allow us to image your thyroid gland. You will be instructed to return 3 to 4 hours later. At this time the technologist will inject a radiopharmaceutical into a vein in your arm. This radiopharmacentical will need to circulate for 20 minutes. Four images of your neck will then be taken using a nuclear medicine camera. The scan takes about 20 minutes.The camera does not emit any radiation, but rather detects the radiation emitted from the radiopharmaceutical that was injected or swallowed. The camera is open so you are not completely surrounded and the technologist may stay in the scan room with you. You will be asked to hold still but you do not need to hold your breath.
You will be asked to return about 1 hour later for an additional set of pictures. This second set of pictures increases the sensitivity of the exam.
How Should I Prepare?
Please wear comfortable clothing with an open neck and refrain from wearing necklaces
Certain thyroid medications will need to be stopped prior to scheduling the procedure. Please consult with our scheduling department or your physician
Food and Drink
You may eat and drink before and during the exam
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of Parathyroid Scan:
- The parathyroid exam is a non invasive sensitive exam for determining an overactive parathyroid gland
Risks you should be aware of:
- Occasionally the injected radiopharmaceutical can cause a metallic taste, this is transient and is readily relieved by drinking a glass of water
Where Can I Get This Exam?
Parathyroid scan is performed at our following locations: