Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan
A bone scan is used to show a functional or cellular view of all the bones in your body. It can look for many bone issues, such as infection, fractures/stress fractures, and cancer. Bone scans for cancer patients help physicians decide the next step in cancer treatment.
How is a bone scan performed?
The technologist will ask you a brief history and will enter your medication list into the computer. After that, you will be given an injection of a radioactive tracer in a vein in your arm.
After the injection, you’re free to leave for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The technologist will give you a return time. While you are gone, drink 24 oz of fluids. You are allowed to eat and take medications, if necessary. Return to the imaging center at your assigned time.
You will be led back to an imaging room and asked to remove your belt and any metal objects from your pockets. You will then lay on a camera bed while the camera takes images of your bones. Additional views may be needed at the radiologist’s request. The entire scan will take about 25-35 minutes. The images will be processed, viewed and approved by the radiologist. The total time for the scan can take up to one hour. If additional images are needed, it could take up to an hour and a half.
How will I find out the results?
After the exam, your nuclear medicine bone scan will be reviewed by the radiologist. Your personal physician will receive a report of the radiologist's findings to discuss with you.