Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Parathyroid Scan

What is a  Parathyroid Scan?
A parathyroid scan is a nuclear medicine study of the neck and upper chest.  The purpose of the scan is to search for overactive parathyroid glands.

Why did the doctor order the scan for me?
This test is usually ordered when a blood test shows elevated calcium and
parathyroid hormone levels.

What do I need to do to prepare for the scan?
There is no special preparation for this scan. Please bring your insurance card(s), driver's license and co-pay.

What should I expect when I arrive at the hospital?
You will first need to check in and register at the Radiolog Registration desk that is located past Mercy Gift Shop to the left. At that time your personal and insurance information will be updated.  Once you are registered, you will be asked to sit in the waiting area. A technologist will call you and take you to the Nuclear Medicine area. 

Who will be in the scanning room with me?
Your family is welcome to accompany you during the explanation of the test, but will be asked to return to the waiting room during the actual scan.  A nuclear medicine technologist will perform your scan.

What will I experience during the scan?
The technologist will ask you some questions regarding your medical history and the problems that you are experiencing.  He or she will give an injection in a vein of a small amount of a radioactive tracer.  There are no side effects to this injection.  There will be a 20-minute wait while this tracer circulates.  You will be brought to the imaging room and positioned on the table while four images are obtained.  Each picture takes approximately five to 10 minutes. The same four images will be repeated three hours after the initial injection was given.

What do I need to do following the scan?
Following your parathyroid exam you can return to normal activities. 

When will I receive result of the scan?
You will receive your results from your ordering physician.  You may receive a letter, a phone call, or have a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you are unsure of how you will receive your results, please contact your physician's office.

We are very concerned about any anxiety you may have about your exam. We are happy to answer any questions you may have!

If you have questions call:
641-428-7787 or
1-800-433-3883 ext. 7787