Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Thyroid Uptake and Scan

What is a thyroid uptake and scan?
A thyroid uptake and scan is a nuclear medicine study of the thyroid gland. This exam is ordered to check the structure and function of your thyroid. 

Why did the doctor order this scan for me?
Your doctor has ordered this test because of abnormal labs and thyroid related symptoms.  This study also is performed to check nodules and/or goiters.

What do I need to do to prepare for the test?
Prior to your study:
No multivitamins for 4-6 weeks
No iodine contrast for 4-6 weeks
No thyroid medications for 4-6 weeks

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 Radiology Registration desk located past Mercy Gift Shop and on the left.  At this 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 test.

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.  You will be given a radioactive iodine capsule and will be asked to return six hours later for the uptake and scan. There are no side effects from the capsules.  During the six hour wait there will be no restrictions and you will be allowed to leave the hospital. When you return, we will begin with the thyroid uptake that takes two minutes followed by the thyroid scan, which will take approximately 30 minutes.

What do I need to do after the scan?
Following your thyroid uptake and scan you can return to normal activities. 

When will I get results from the test?
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