There is no special preparation for this exam. You may eat, drink, and take any medications needed to prior to this exam. Note: Patients are required to have a Chest X-ray within 24 hours before/after a Lung Scan to assist the Radiologists in interpreting the Lung Scan. The ordering physician is required to order a 2 view Chest X-ray if the patient has not had one within 24 hours of the exam.
What to Expect:
There are two parts to a Lung Scan. The scan itself takes approximately 45 minutes. Upon arrival to Radiology Reception, you are greeted and escorted back to the Nuclear Medicine suite by one of our team members. Once there, your technologist will explain the procedure, discuss your symptoms (if any) and medical history and start an IV in your arm (or hand).
You will lie on the imaging table and for the first part, the technologist will inject a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical into your vein. The injection has no side affects and you will not feel any different from it once it is inside your body. The camera will take pictures of your lungs in varying projections/angles. For maximum comfort, a pillow is placed uner your head and knees and you will be covered with a warm blanket.
The second part of your exam is very similar, only this time; you will be given a mouthpiece and instructed to breathe in an aerosol that has been infused with a similar radiopharmaceutical as the injection. Once you breathe this material in for approximately 5 minutes, the images are repeated.
Once the images are acquired, your 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 the patient.
Common reasons for performing a Lung Scan include:
- Detection of Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot) in the lung.