Thyroid Uptake/Scan

What is a Thyroid Uptake and Scan?

A Thyroid Scan shows the size, shape and location of your thyroid gland.  The "uptake" is a measure of the thyroid function.

How do I prepare for the exam?

There is no preparation for this exam.  However, at the time that your exam is scheduled, you will be asked the following questions:

Are you taking medications? You should not be taking any thyroid hormones or any Thyrosuppressive drugs such as PTU.  Please speak with your Physician or call our Nuclear Medicine Department if you have any questions at 617-243-6087.

Have you had any recent X-ray procedures?  X-rays using contrast media (pills or injections) will interfere with this exam. If you have received any contrast media within the last three (3) months, please speak with your physician or call our scheduling department prior to your appointment.

What will happen during the exam?

This is a 2-day procedure.

Day One:   You will be asked questions regarding any prior tests, medication, symptoms or family history of thyroid problems.  You will then be given one or two capsules containing radioactive iodine that will accumulate in your thyroid.  This is inorganic iodine and will not cause reactions as those sometimes experienced with the contrast used in X-Ray procedures.

After receiving the pills, you may continue to eat and drink anything you please.

Day Two:  There is no prep for the scan.  You will lie comfortable on a scanning table while images of your thyroid are acquired.

How long with the procedure take?

On the first day, the process takes 15 minutes.  On the second day, the scan takes 30 minutes.

What will happen after the exam?

After the exam, the Technologist will process your images using a computer.  A Radiologist will evaluate the images within 24 hours and dictate a report.  A report will be sent to your physician.

How will I receive my results?

You will get the results of the exam from you doctor.

Important: If there is any possibility that you are PREGNANT or NURSING a baby, please speak with your referring physician before your scheduled appointment.

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