Learn More About Parathyroid Scans
A parathyroid scan is an exam that helps determine the health of the parathyroid gland, which regulates calcium uptake in the body.
Parathyroid scans are ordered to:
- Detect the location of enlarged parathyroid tissue in the upper neck and upper chest region in patients with hyperparathyroidism.
- Assist surgeons using radio guided technology to locate parathyroid tumors.
How Long Will This Take?
There are no dietary or medication restrictions as you prepare for the procedure. Upon arrival you will be registered by our office staff. A certified nuclear medicine technologist will explain the procedure and administer the isotope by injection. There is a waiting period of 15 minutes to allow the isotope to reach the parathyroid. After the waiting period, you will be asked to lie on an imaging table and several images will be taken including tomographic images. After initial images are complete you will be asked to return in one hour for additional images including magnified views of the neck region.
What Does a Parathyroid Scan Involve?
A certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity. You will receive an injection of an isotope. After a 15 minute waiting period, we will take pictures of your neck region. We will also perform tomographic image acquisition (called SPECT).
Once initial images are complete you are free to leave, but you will be asked to return in one hour for additional images of the neck including magnified views. A board certified nuclear medicine physician will interpret your scan. The results will be available to your physician within one working day. Patients having this procedure immediately before their surgery will have their results called or faxed to the surgeon before their surgery.