This is a test in which a small amount of radioactivity is used to obtain pictures. The pictures will help your doctor to understand your illness.
The radiation is not dangerous. The amount of radiation you receive is small. It is similar to that from an X-ray examination.
The radioactivity is usually injected into a vein in your arm. You then have to wait 3 - 4 hours before pictures are taken depending on the type of scan being done. The pictures will be taken with a 'Gamma Camera' and you may sit on a chair or lie down on a bed. It is not normally necessary to undress.
For most scans, you can eat and drink as usual.
The pinprick of the injection may hurt a little - it will feel similar to having a blood test done. It is highly unusual to feel any ill-effects from the injection. It does not make you sleepy or prevent you from driving a car.
You may bring a friend/relative with you as long as they are not young children. Between the injection and scan you are free to go home or go into town.
After the scan, you may go home or return to work. You may be asked to have extra drinks for the rest of the day to help 'wash' the radioactivity out of your body.
The results of the test are sent to the doctor who requested the scan. This usually takes about a week. You will get the results from your doctor at your follow-up appointment.