Parathyroid Scan

Download/print the Parathyroid Scan patient information sheet

What is a parathyroid scan?

A parathyroid scan is used to detect any abnormalities within the parathyroid glands. Parathyroid glands are located behind the thyroid gland in your neck, and they regulate the amount of calcium in your body.

How should I prepare for my exam?
  • There are no restrictions prior to this exam. You may eat, drink and take all prescribed medications.
  • Wear comfortable clothes without metal fasteners, including zippers, buttons and snaps.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
  • Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
How long will my exam take?

A parathyroid exam can take up to 4 or 5 hours. This time allows for two sets of images to be taken, with a 2.5 to 3.5 hour wait between sets.

What happens during my exam?

During your exam, a small amount of radioactive tracer will be injected into a vein in your arm. The tracer allows your parathyroid glands to be seen by the nuclear medicine camera. After 10 minutes, you will be positioned on your back and images will be taken for approximately 20 minutes. A second set of images will be taken 2.5 to 3.5 hours later, and this imaging process will take another 30-45 minutes.

What happens after my exam?

Following the exam, your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider who will then contact you to discuss the results.

Unless directed otherwise, you may drive, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications after your appointment.

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