Bone Scan Information Sheet

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What is a Bone Scan?

A Bone Scan shows us the metabolism of your bone cells. It is used to investigate bone disorders such as arthritis, infection, fractures, and cancer. The tracer is absorbed into your bones from your bloodstream, in much the same way that your bones absorb calcium to build new bone.

What preparation is required?

There is no specific preparation for this test – you do not need to fast, or skip any medications. We suggest you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day of the test, and empty your bladder often. This helps to improve the images and lower your radiation dose. It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you on the day

What happens during the test?

There are two parts to every Bone Scan.

PART 1: You will be given a small injection of a radioactive tracer, into a vein in your arm. We usually take pictures immediately after your injection to image the blood flow to any painful areas.

WAIT: There is a waiting period of between 1½ hrs and 3hrs for the tracer to be absorbed into your bones

PART 2: During the second part of the test we will image your whole body, as well as detailed images of specific areas. You will be given a time for Part 2 when we do the initial injection.

Are there any side effects? 

There are no side effects from the tracer injection, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation used is quite small.

How long will the test take?

Please allow 30min for the first part of the test, and around an hour for the second part. You are not required to stay in the hospital between the two parts.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Your doctors may have requested that you undergo this examination while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctors will have considered and discussed the risks and benefits of having the scan to the health of both you and your baby.

As part of the procedure you will be given the opportunity to further discuss any concerns that you may have including the potential risks and benefits with one of our staff members.

This examination may have been deemed suitable for you to undergo while you are breastfeeding. You will need to cease breastfeeding for 1 hour following the administration of the radiotracer. It is advised that you express and discard your breast milk during this period. You may resume routine breast feeding after 1 hour. Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.

Family / Friends

Due to the small size of the Nuclear Medicine waiting area we ask that you limit the number of family members accompanying you for your visit.


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