Bone Scan

This exam is a nuclear medicine procedure that uses an injection of radioactive tracer to diagnose many bone diseases.

Procedure

  • The nuclear medicine technologist will inject a small amount of radioactive tracer into your vein that will travel specifically to the bones.
  • After you receive the injection, you will be allowed to leave the facility, returning in approximately three hours for the actual scan.
  • You will drink your choice of liquid (water, juice, coffee, soft drinks, etc.) and be allowed to use the restroom frequently. You may also eat during this waiting time, provided it does not interfere with any other procedure on that day.
  • When you return, the scan will take 45-90 minutes and you will be required to lie completely flat and still for the duration of the exam.

After the procedure

  • You must follow up with your ordering doctor.

Preparation

  • Bring a prescription from a doctor.
  • Bring a list of current medications.

Considerations

  • If you are pregnant or suspect you may be, contact your referring doctor.
  • Tell the technologist if you are planning to travel out of the country.
  • If your exam is ordered with SPECT, add an additional hour to length of exam.
  • Due to the use of contrast, if you are also having a Bone Density study performed, it must be performed either before the Bone Scan or at least 10 days following the Bone Scan.
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