A small amount of radioactivity is used to obtain pictures which will help your doctor understand your illness.
For most tests, the radioactive dose is injected into a vein in the arm. For some tests the dose is given as a drink. You may then have to wait before pictures are taken with a gamma camera. The wait depends upon the type of scan. It varies between a few minutes and three hours. If your appointment letter tells you that there is more than one hour to wait, you may be able to leave the department during this interval.
It takes about thirty minutes to take the pictures. During the scan you will have to lie on a bed or sit in a chair. For most tests you do not need to take off your clothes. After the scan you can go home or to work.Do I need to prepare for the scan?
For most scans you do not need to do anything special. You can eat and drink as normal before coming and between the injection and scan. Your appointment letter will tell you if you have to do something different from this.
For most tests there is no need to change any regular treatment. If you do need to stop taking a drug, your letter will tell you.
Only the 'pinprick' of the injection may hurt a bit. You may have had a blood test in the past. This is much the same effect. You will not feel ill-effects from the injection. It does not make you sleepy. It does not prevent you driving a car.
No. The amount of radiation you receive is small. It is similar to that from an X-Ray examination.
Yes, if you are a woman, please tell us if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Also, please tell us if you are breast-feeding.
A report is sent to the doctor who asked us to do the scan.
You may eat, drink and go where you wish. You may be asked to drink more than usual for the rest of the day. This is to help wash the radioactivity out of your body. The rest will disappear naturally. Please avoid close contact with children for the rest of the day. This is to avoid exposing children to unnecessary radiation.
If you have any other questions, please ask the staff in the Medical Physics Department. You can telephone, or ask before the scan starts.