Thyroid scans are used to investigate the way your thyroid gland is functioning, as well as determine the size and shape of your thyroid gland.

A thyroid scan involves an injection of a radiopharmaceutical into a vein in your arm.

A delay of approximately 20 minutes is allowed for the nuclear medicine to be taken up by the thyroid gland. You will then lie on a bed with a Gamma camera placed near your body for imaging, which takes approximately 20 minutes.

Before your Scan

There is no specific preparation involved.

You can eat and drink normally prior to scan.

If you have had CT scan with iodine contrast in the 6 weeks prior to this scan, please advise our staff as this may influence the test results.

If there is a possibility of pregnancy, we prefer to delay the test unless it is necessary. Only clinically urgent scans assessed by your referring doctor and our specialised Nuclear Medicine doctors will go ahead.

Some tests may need to be changed if you are breastfeeding or you may need to avoid breastfeeding for up to 1 hour after the test. Please tell us when you make your booking, and we will discuss this with you.


In total, the thyroid scan takes approximately 1 hour.

Risks / Side effects

Side effects from radiopharmaceuticals such as nausea, vomiting or a rash are very uncommon, occurring in approximately 1 in 10,000 people.

Other Information

After the test, the specialist will examine the results and send a report to your doctor.

Staff will advise you if there are any precautions you need to follow after your tests. For example, if you are breastfeeding, you may need to avoid breastfeeding for up to 1 hour after the test. It may be necessary to avoid close contact with pregnant women or young children for several hours after the test.

After the procedure, you can drive a car, and eat and drink normally.

Are you ready to make your Nuclear Medicine appointment?

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