Your doctor may order a Gallium Scan if you have unexplained pains or fever, or if there is a suspicion of cancer. Doctors also order the scan as a follow-up test for people who have been diagnosed or treated for cancer. The scan can also be used to inspect the lungs.
Please remember to bring your requesting letter and any recent X-rays or CT scans. At the time of your appointment, report to North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, located on the ground floor of North Shore Private Hospital in Westbourne Street, St Leonards.
Take all of your usual medications.
There is no need to fast for any part of the Gallium Scan.
When you arrive at the hospital, a technician will inject a gallium solution into a vein in your arm.
After the injection, you’ll be able to leave the hospital as the gallium begins moving through your bloodstream, collecting in your bones and organs. You’ll be asked to return to the hospital for the scan, usually 48 hours after you receive the injection.
A scanner will slowly move around your body when you return, while a special camera detects where the gallium has collected in your body. The images are viewed on a monitor.
The scanning process takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
The test involves an injection into a vein of a small amount of a radioactive compound called gallium. A specialised camera is then used to take pictures of your body. On the first day, the test will be explained to you, and a technologist will give you the injection gallium (this only takes 15 minutes). You will return two days later for the scan, which may take 30-90 minutes, depending on what your doctor is looking for. (You are not scanned earlier because it takes several days for any abnormality to appear on the scan.)
You may need to return for further scans over the next few days as gallium is normally excreted into the bowel, and it may take up to one week for the bowel to clear.
There are no side effects or reactions from the injection. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is safe to give even if you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure is entirely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.
The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so please inform us before the test begins if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant.
You may need to return for further scans over the next few days as gallium is excreted into the bowel, and it may take up to one week for the bowel to clear.
There are no side effects or reactions from the injection.
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