A bone scan is a nuclear medicine test that is used in urology for staging of cancers (prostate, kidney and bladder cancers) to see if there is any sign of spread of the cancer (metastasis) to bones.
Is it painful?
No. You will need a small needle inserted into a vein in your arm or back of your hand to allow injection of the radioactive tracer.
What preparation is required for a bone scan?
You will receive information about preparation from your radiology provider. Please contact them if you need more information. Generally, no special preparation is required for a bone scan.
What happens during the bone scan?
You will be given a time to arrive for the injection. You will then have a period of up to three hours to wait before the scan is performed – this is the time required for the radioactive tracer to be taken up by bone tissue. When you come back for the scan, you will be asked to lie on the couch and a scanner will move over you (it won’t touch you, and is painless). The scan takes about 30 minutes.
Important things you must tell the radiographer
- If you are, or could be pregnant
- If you are breast feeding
Is a bone scan a safe investigation?
A small amount of radiation is used in the tracer injection, and this should not cause any long-term effects. If you have had a lot of radiological procedures, there is a small risk of an additive effect of the radiation. The benefits of having the scan usually far outweigh any small risk involved.
If you have any questions, please contact your chosen Radiology provider. The administration staff at Nick Brook Urology do NOT have information about your appointment times for radiology, and are not able to give medical advice or answer questions about radiological investigations. The staff are not able to give you your results – these need to be given to you either by the radiologist or by Nick Brook. Use the links below for contact details for the radiology companies in South Australia:
Radiology SA http://www.radiologysa.com.au
Benson Radiology http://bensonradiology.com.au
Dr Jones & Partners http://www.drjones.com.au
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.