Thyroid Whole Body Scan

Download/print the Thyroid Whole Body Scan patient information sheet

What is a thyroid whole body scan?

A whole body thyroid scan looks to see if there is any residual thyroid tissue remaining after your thyroid has been surgically removed or if any abnormal thyroid tissue exists in other areas of your body.

Where can I schedule this exam?

A thyroid whole body scan can be scheduled at: 

How should I prepare for my exam?
  • You should follow an iodine-restricted diet for 10 days before your first appointment. Iodine can limit how much tracer is absorbed by your thyroid gland, which can make the exam less accurate.
    View Medication, Supplement and Food Restrictions (PDF)

  • Do not eat or drink anything two hours prior to and one hour after your day one appointment. A small amount of water is okay if you must take any medications that do not interfere with this exam.

  • 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.

  • Please let us know if you have an insulin pump or glucose monitor. Our imaging machines may cause your device to malfunction, so it will need to be removed during your exam.
How long will my exam take?

A thyroid whole body scan is a two-day exam. The first appointment will take less than a half hour. The second appointment will take about an hour.

What happens during my exam?

For your first appointment, you will swallow a capsule containing a small amount of radioactive tracer.

You will return the following day for the imaging part of the exam. The nuclear medicine camera will scan from the top of your head to the middle of your thighs and then close-ups of your neck will be taken.

What happens after my 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 can resume your normal diet and take all prescribed medications after your second appointment.

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