Thyroid scan

What is a Thyroid Scan?

A thyroid scan shows how your thyroid gland is working using a radioactive tracer.

The tracer localises in the thyroid gland; the distribution is scanned (detected) using a Gamma Camera. The scan gives information on the size, shape, position and function of the gland.

What is this scan used for?

Thyroid scans can be used to:

  • Check if your thyroid is working properly.
  • Help diagnose problems with your thyroid gland, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), thyroid cancer or other growths.
  • Assess the nature of a lump (nodule) discovered in your gland.
  • Detect areas of abnormality, such as lumps or inflammation.
  • Determine whether thyroid cancer has spread outside your thyroid gland.
  • Look at how your thyroid gland may have changed following surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

How can I prepare for this procedure?

  • If you are taking any medication related to your thyroid, iodine products or have had contrast injection (e.g. as part of a CT scan) please let the Nuclear Medicine Department know.
  • You may eat and drink normally.
  • If there is any chance you could be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, please inform the Department at least 24 hours before your appointment on 0161 495 7040.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You will be given an intravenous injection of the tracer. You will not feel any side effects.
  • After the injection you will wait for 15 minutes and have your scan
  • You will be lying down for your scan.
  • You will not need to undress.
  • You will not be totally enclosed during the scan as two side are open.
  • The entire procedure takes around an hour.

Paying for your procedure

The costs of a Thyroid Scan are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own scan, please ask for the cost of the procedure to be explained when you book the appointment.

What to do next

Speak to us today about how to get referred for this treatment. Meet with a consultant of your choice, with appointments usually available within 48 hours.

Call us free on:

0808 101 0337 0808 101 0337

Want to look at other treatments? or find it on the A-Z list.