Bone Scan

You have been scheduled for a bone scan, which involves the use of a small amount of radioactive material. The level of radioactivity used is extremely low and has no side effects.

Preparation for the procedure:
There are no pre-exam instructions. You will be asked to drink six to eight glasses of liquid between the injection and the scan. Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or breast feeding. The imaging may be changed, or special instructions given based upon that information.

What to expect:
There are several types of bone scans that are performed. Please ask your doctor’s office which of the following types of scans you will have.
1. Triple phase bone scan: Once in the scan room you will lie down on a table and a gamma camera will be placed near the area of your body that the doctor is interested in. You will be intravenously injected with a radioactive tracer and scanned for approximately 15 minutes. You will be asked to return two to four hours later for the scan. Once in the scan room you will lie down on a table a special detector called a gamma camera will be placed near the area of your body that the doctor is interested in. The scan takes approximately one hour.
2. Limited bone scan: Once in the injection room you will be intravenously injected with a radioactive tracer and asked to return two to four hours later for the scan. Once in the scan room you will lie down on a table a special detector called a gamma camera will be placed near the area of your body that the doctor is interested in. The scan takes approximately one hour.
3. Whole body bone scan: Once in the injection room you will be intravenously injected with a radioactive tracer and asked to return two to four hours later for the scan. Once in the scan room you will be lying down under a camera between two or three detectors called a gamma camera and images of all the bones in your body will be taken. The scan takes about 30 minutes.
4. Bone SPECT: This scan generally follows a limited or whole body bone scan, and takes 20 minutes. It gives the doctor more specific information about your bones. Once in the scan room you will be lying on a table where a camera with two or three detectors will rotate around you and make three dimensional images of your bones. Claustrophobia is not usually a problem. This gives the doctor information similar to a CT or MRI.

The images will be reviewed and the results will be sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Your questions and comments:
call (805) 563-5870.

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