Thyroid Scan Information Sheet

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What is a Thyroid Scan?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the base of your neck which regulates a lot of hormones in your body. This scan shows us how well it is functioning, whether over- or under-active, and any nodules. It is a useful scan for assessing conditions like Graves’ Disease, Hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s Disease and Thyroid Cancer.

What preparation is required?

It is important not to have had Iodine Contrast, either injected or swallowed, in the 6 weeks prior to this test. Iodine contrast is common for CT (CAT) scans and you should inform us if you have been given any Iodine contrast as part of a CT Scan.

Please bring a list of your medications when you come for this scan. If you are taking any medication including: Thyroxine, Amiodarone, Carbimazole, Neomercazole or Lithium please contact your referring doctor to see if you may need to stop taking these as it can affect the uptake of our tracer. If you take kelp or fish oil tablets you should stop taking these for 48hrs prior to your test. Please call us if you have any questions about this.

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 Thyroid 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 the thyroid.

WAIT: There is a 15min wait for the tracer to be absorbed into your thyroid

PART 2: During the second part of the test we will image your thyroid from several different angles. The pictures take a few minutes each.

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 at least 45min for the whole test.

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 26 hours 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 26 hours. 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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