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How is the thyroid scan performed?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
5 doctors agree

In brief: 2 types of "scans"

Thyroid ultrasounds are quick and painless.
They are done with some jelly on the neck and sound waves are used to visualize the thyroid and surrounding tissues. Nuclear medicine scans are done by swallowing a small amount of radioactive iodine. After some time, the iodine finds its way to thyroid tissue and "lights up" on the scan. This is painless, safe, but does take a while. Best wishes.

In brief: 2 types of "scans"

Thyroid ultrasounds are quick and painless.
They are done with some jelly on the neck and sound waves are used to visualize the thyroid and surrounding tissues. Nuclear medicine scans are done by swallowing a small amount of radioactive iodine. After some time, the iodine finds its way to thyroid tissue and "lights up" on the scan. This is painless, safe, but does take a while. Best wishes.
Dr. Mike Bowman
Dr. Mike Bowman
Thank
Dr. Thomas Heston
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Radiotracer + gamma

For a nuclear thyroid scan, you are administered a radiotracer either by mouth (typical for radioiodine) or IV (for tc99m pertechnetate).
Some time is allowed to pass in order to let the thyroid take up the radiotracer. Your thyroid is then imaged using a gamma camera. For a pertechnetate study, it takes about an hour. For a radioiodine study, it may take a couple of days to allow adequate uptake.

In brief: Radiotracer + gamma

For a nuclear thyroid scan, you are administered a radiotracer either by mouth (typical for radioiodine) or IV (for tc99m pertechnetate).
Some time is allowed to pass in order to let the thyroid take up the radiotracer. Your thyroid is then imaged using a gamma camera. For a pertechnetate study, it takes about an hour. For a radioiodine study, it may take a couple of days to allow adequate uptake.
Dr. Thomas Heston
Dr. Thomas Heston
Thank
Dr. Susan Wingo
Internal Medicine - Endocrinology

In brief: 2 kinds of nuc scans

In addition to ultrasounds, which are sometimes referred to as scans, there are two different kinds of nuclear thyroid scans done.
One kind uses radioactive iodine (i-123) and is given as a pill. The other uses technitium (tc-99) and is given as an intravenous injection.

In brief: 2 kinds of nuc scans

In addition to ultrasounds, which are sometimes referred to as scans, there are two different kinds of nuclear thyroid scans done.
One kind uses radioactive iodine (i-123) and is given as a pill. The other uses technitium (tc-99) and is given as an intravenous injection.
Dr. Susan Wingo
Dr. Susan Wingo
Thank
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