Advanced diagnostic imaging for thyroid problems
Thyroid Scans at Beverly Hospital
A thyroid scan is used to evaluate the health of your thyroid, a gland in your neck that controls metabolism. These scans allow doctors to detect various thyroid problems.
At Beverly Hospital, we use leading-edge nuclear medicine techniques for thyroid scans. Nuclear medicine scans use small amounts of radioactive material to create clear images of your thyroid. These tests can help determine if your thyroid is working correctly. They also can reveal why your thyroid hormone levels might be elevated.
Preparing for a Nuclear Medicine Thyroid Scan
For your safety, these are steps you’ll need to take before your scan:
- Don’t take your thyroid medication before your appointment, as directed by your doctor
- Don’t eat seafood for one week prior to the exam.
- No iodine IV contrast scans (such as X-ray dye) eight weeks before the exam.
- Notify the technologist if you think you may be pregnant.
About 24 hours before your exam, you’ll be given a radioactive iodine pill.
During your scan, you will be asked to lie on the exam table. A nuclear medicine technologist will position a special camera near your neck to take images of your thyroid. This portion of the test usually takes about 30 minutes.
The rest of the test takes only several minutes and is performed while you are sitting up. Using a device that measures radioactive material, the technologist places a probe near your thyroid gland to measure the percentage of radioactivity that is retained by the thyroid gland.
Patient care and safety is our top priority. We use high-quality equipment and quality control to ensure that we produce the highest image quality for both interpretation and diagnosis. The amount of radioactive material you’ll receive is small. For most patients, these materials are unlikely to cause side effects or allergic reactions.
There are no restrictions following the scan. You may return to your regular activity after the scan is complete.
Your doctor will have the results of your scan within 48 hours. They will discuss the results with you.