Thyroid Scan

This test shows the thyroid gland's functioning, including the presence of nodules.

A small amount of a radioactive compound is injected into your vein for this test. A specialised camera is then used to take pictures (scans) of your thyroid gland.

Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain thyroid medications (e.g. Carbimazole, Propylthiouracil or Oroxine) for several days prior to the scan. Otherwise, take all of your usual medications.

There is no need to fast for any part of the thyroid scan.

The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so please inform us before the test begins if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant.

The scan takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.

After the test is explained to you, a needle will be placed into a vein in your arm (usually near the elbow), and the radioactive compound will be administered. You will be required to wait 10 minutes after the injection before imaging will commence. The technologist will then bring you to the scanning area for your images to be taken (which takes about 20-30 mins).

There are no side effects or reactions from the injection. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is safe in people who are allergic to radiological contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure is entirely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.

In general, the scans and results are sent to your doctor the next working day.

You can drive home after the scan. You will not be drowsy in any way.

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