A nuclear medicine scan looks at how well blood is flowing to an area or how well an organ or system is working by giving a small amount of radioactive fluid (tracer) by intravenous (IV) or by mouth.
If your child is having a gastrointestinal study, he or she can’t eat or drink before the scan. You’ll be told what to do at the time the appointment is made.
An IV will be started in a vein in your child’s arm, hand, or foot. Freezing cream (EMLA®, Amatop®, or Maxilene®) will be placed on your child's skin 30 minutes prior to the scan. This will make it more comfortable for your child when the IV is started.
You can bring a comfort item for your child (like a blanket or stuffed toy). You can stay with your child during the scan.
It depends on the type of scan.
Very rarely, some children get a skin rash after the tracer injection.
The amount of radiation from the scan is so small that it’s not a concern.
Your child may eat, drink, and play as usual.
Most of the tracer leaves the body through urine and bowel movements.
Your child may have a bruise where the IV was started. This should fade over the next few days.
Your family doctor will get the results of the scan in about 1 week. Please call your doctor’s office for the results.
Current as of: March 15, 2018
Author: Diagnostic Imaging, Alberta Health Services
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