A thyroid scan is a 24-hour study that uses oral radioactive iodine to study the ability of the thyroid gland to process iodine, as well as study its size and shape to localize any abnormally functioning regions with in the gland. This study is usually accompanied by a thyroid ultrasound for a complete thyroid survey.
Scan time is one hour.
Prior to the exam the patient will be asked to identify all medications they are presently taking especially if related to thyroid function. The patient may be asked to stop taking the thyroid medication for two weeks prior to the study. Do not stop taking these medications without first consulting your physician. Instructions will be given at the time of the scheduling of the exam.
The patient will be administered a pill containing a small amount of a radioactive compound 24 hours prior to the study. The patient MUST fast four hours prior to taking the pill. The following day, images will be acquired of the patient in a reclined position beneath a large specialized camera. The amount of radioactivity of the thyroid is measured to determine its level of function. Then, additional images are acquired to evaluate the size and shape of the thyroid gland.
Images are acquired and stored digitally, and the report and images will be made immediately available to your referring physician.