Parathyroid Scan

Parathyroid scans use nuclear medicine to assess benign thyroid tumors and abnormalities.

During a parathyroid scan, you will have an injection of radioactive material in your arm. After you receive the injection, you will have images taken by a gamma camera. A gamma camera does not use radiation to create images. For the next 30 to 40 minutes, painless images of your neck and chest will be taken. Once this set of images is complete, you will be asked to wait about one hour and then have a second set of images taken. The second set of images will also take approximately 30 to 40 minutes. You can expect the entire scan to take a minimum of 2.5 hours up to four hours.


  • If you are not scheduled for surgery the day of your parathyroid scan, you may eat and drink as usual.
  • If you are not scheduled for surgery the day of your parathyroid scan, you may take your medications as usual, unless directed by your doctor.
  • Remember to bring the written order (prescription), for this test, given to you by your doctor.

If you are scheduled for surgery the same day as your parathyroid scan, it is very important that you follow the pre-surgical instructions from your doctor.


  • Patients of childbearing age should review the pregnancy and breastfeeding guidelines.

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