Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
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Thyroid Uptake and Scan

For this procedure you must withhold any thyroid medication for 6 weeks prior to your appointment.  You must also have not had any IV Contrast "Dye" injected into your body within the previous 8 weeks prior to your Thyroid Uptake and Scan.  These medications can cause false readings and your Thyroid Uptake and Scan will not be accurate.

What to Expect: 
You will be given three appointment times over the course of two days for this procedure.  On the first day, you appointment will be for approximately 15 minutes.   You will be 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.  Then the technologist will administer a capsule.  The capsule is a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical designed to be taken up by your thyroid gland.  You will be asked to fast (nothing to eat or drink) for 30 minutes after you take the capsule in order to let it dissolve in your stomach.  After that, you do not have to fast any longer.

Your second appointment will be 6 hours later on the same day.  Between parts 1 and 2 you can leave the hospital, go shopping, go home and do whatever you like.  You do not need to re-register for your second appointment.  You can go directly to Radiology Reception.  Upon arrival, again you will be greeted and escorted to the Nuclear Medicine suite and your Technologist will assist you in getting in position on the imaging table.  You will lie on your back with a small pillow placed under your neck to allow for optimum visualization of your thyroid during the scan.  For maximum comfort another pillow is placed under your knees and a you are covered with a warm blanket.
Your Technologist will obtain 4 pictures of your thyroid, each image taking anywhere from 3 minutes each to 8 minutes each to acquire.  This time varies for each patient, as everyone's thyroid absorbs the material in the capsule at a different rate.  We estimate approximately 45 minutes for your second appointment.

The third appointment will be on day 2. You do not need to re-register for this appointment.  You can go directly to Radiology Reception.  Upon arrival, once again, you will be greeted and escorted to the Nuclear Medicine suite.  This time, you will be seated in a chair in front of a small piece of equipment that "reads" how much of the capsule is residing in your thyroid after 24 hours.  This piece of equipment is called a "thyroid probe".  You will be with us for approximately 15 minutes.

Once the all images are acquired from both days, the Technologist will evaluate the images for quality, 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 your ordering physician within 3 business days.  The ordering physician will provide results to you.

Common reasons to perform a Thyroid Uptake and Scan include (but are not limited to):

  • Detection and evaluation of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (under active thyroid).
  • Detection of benign vs. malignant nodules on the thyroid.
  • Detection, localization, and evaluation of independent functioning nodules.


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