Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
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Parathyroid Scan

This procedure has 2 parts.  There is no special preparation for this exam.  You may eat, drink, and take any medications that you need to prior to this exam.

What to Expect: 
Upon arrival to Radiology Reception, you are greeted and escorted back to the Nuclear Medicine suite by one of our team members.  Your Technologist will explain the procedure to you, discuss your symptoms (if any), medical history and start an IV in your arm (or hand).

The technologist will inject a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical that is specific for your thyroid parathyroid glands.  There will be a 15 minute waiting period while the material travels to your thyroid and parathyroid area.  During this time, the technologist will remove the IV as it is no longer needed for the procedure. After 15 minutes, you will be positioned on the imaging table lying on your back. The scan itself takes 30 minutes.  For maximun comfort, a pillow is placed under the head and the knees and you are covered with a warm blanket.  Feel free to bring your favorite DVD movie or music CD or you may choose one from our selection.

There is a three hour (3-hrs) wait in between the injection and scan with no restrictions. You can leave the hospital, go shopping, go home and do whatever you like. You can eat, drink, and/or take medications as needed.  We encourage all Bone Scan patients to drink extra fluids during that 3 hour time period and empty your bladder as often as possible. This helps the radioactive tracer material to circulate through you system well.

You must return to the Reception area for part two, the scan.  You do not need to re-register for your second appointment and it will last approximately 45 minutes.  Upon arrival, again you will be greeted and escorted back to the Nuclear Medicine suite.  You will be positioned lying on the imaging table where the same images will be repeated.  Finally, a SPECT scan is conducted which is a special 360 degree image.

For maximum comfort, a pillow will be placed under your head and knees and you will be covered a warm blanket. Feel free to bring along your favorite DVD movie or music CD to use during your procedure, or you may choose of our selection. 

Once the images are acquired, the Technologist will evaluate the images for quality, remove your IV, address any issues or concerns that you may have and escort you back to the reception area.  The images are read by a Radiologist (doctor) and the results are dictated, transcribed and sent to the ordering physician within 3 business days.  The ordering physician will provide results to you.
Common reasons for performing a Parathyroid Scan include (but are not limited to):

  • Detection and localization of primary and secondary parathyroid cancer
  • Identification of parathyroid adenomas in patients with newly diagnosed hypercalcemia or elevated parathyroid hormone levels
  • Localization of cancer for surgery candidates

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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100