This is a test which shows the functioning of the thyroid gland, including the presence of nodules. For this test a small amount of a radioactive compound is injected into your vein. A specialised camera is then used to take pictures (scans) of your thyroid gland.

How to Prepare?

You may be asked by your doctor to stop taking certain thyroid medications (eg Carbimazole, Propylthiouracil or Oroxine) for several days prior to the scan. Otherwise, take all of your usual medications.

There is no need to fast for any part of the thyroid scan.

The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant, please inform us before the test begins.

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, which is located on the ground floor of North Shore Private Hospital inWestbourne St.

What to Expect?

After the test is explained to you, a needle will be placed into a vein in your arm (usually near the elbow) and the radioactive compound will be administered. You will be required to wait 10 minutes after the injection before imaging will commence. The technologist will then bring you to the scanning area for your images to be taken (which takes about 20-30 mins).

There are no side effects or reaction from the injection. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is therefore safe in people who are allergic to radiological contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure itself is completely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.


In general, the scans and results are sent to your doctor the next working day. Depending on the type of scan you are having (and the clinical urgency), you may be able to take the scan with you in some cases, however there will be a delay while the report is typed.

You can drive home after the scan.  You will not be drowsy in any way.

If you have any questions please phone North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine on 8425 3684. We will be happy to answer any queries that you may have.

Additional Information