A Thyriod Scan or Thyroid Uptake uses Nuclear Medicine to map the function of the thyroid glands.
The thyroid uptake scan uses a gamma camera and small amounts of radioactive tracer injected intravenously, to produce images and measure the function of the thyroid gland. The images show the size, shape and function of the gland, and any nodules or irregularities. It is often used in conjunction with ultrasound.
What happens during a Thyroid Scan?
Before your procedure
What to bring
A referral from your doctor or medical specialist / and an appointment is required for this examination
Any relevant previous imaging
Your Medicare card and any concession cards
A referral from your doctor or medical specialist, and an appointment is required for this examination.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for a small child on the appointment day, please notify us in advance to receive special instructions.
Some medications can interfere with the test, and your referring doctor may ask you to stop taking these before the scan. These include thyroid medication, contrast dye used in CT (Computed Tomography) scans, and some heart medication.
During your procedure
What to expect during my procedure
When you attend your appointment at Envision Medical Imaging you will be asked to answer a few safety questions, remove any jewellery, watches etc, then change into an examination gown.
After explaining the scanning procedure to you the technologist will inject a radioactive tracer into an arm vein then, after a 15 minute wait, position the gamma camera over your neck. You may breathe normally but must try not move. This stage of the examination takes about 20 minutes.
The gamma camera is a large square radiation detector which sits close to the area being examined. You will experience no unusual sensations or discomfort from the scan.
Please allow up to one hour for this examination.
Risks and side effects
Nuclear medicine examinations are considered very safe with almost no reported adverse reactions attributable to the radiopharmaceuticals used in these examinations.
Nuclear Medicine studies require very small doses of gamma radiation and are only performed where the benefits of the examination are deemed to outweigh any potential risks. At Envision, you can be assured that using the latest technology and with staff trained in radiation reduction techniques, radiation doses are kept as low as reasonably possible.
If you are worried or concerned about having a Nuclear Medicine study you should discuss this with your referring doctor or medical specialist before coming for your examination.
If you think you may be pregnant, please inform our Nuclear Medicine team before your examination.
Who will perform and report my examination
At Envision Medical Imaging your examination will be carried out by a Nuclear Medicine Technologist who has a degree in Medical Radiation Science and is accredited by the ANZSNM.
Your images will be reviewed along with your relevant medical history, and any other imaging, and be reported by our Nuclear Medicine credentialed radiologist or Nuclear Medicine physician (a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of Nuclear Medicine studies).
What happens after a Thyroid Scan?
How do I receive my results?
Your images will be reviewed along with your relevant medical history, and any other imaging, and be reported by our Nuclear Medicine credentialed radiologist or Nuclear Medicine physician (a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of Nuclear Medicine studies). If your results are needed urgently, Envision Medical Imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately. Otherwise your referring doctor will receive your report within 48 hours of your examination. Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor to discuss the results.
Radiation from the injected radiopharmaceutical diminishes quickly, however there is still a very small amount of residual radioactivity left for up to 24 hours after your scan. You are free to resume normal activities following the procedure (unless otherwise advised). If you are caring for a small child, or breastfeeding, we may ask you to take some minor precautions.