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I 123 Uptake and Thyroid Scan

A thyroid uptake and scan is a special test that uses a radioactive substance (or tracer) to examine how the thyroid gland looks and how it works.

A thyroid uptake and scan is performed to determine size, structure and function of the thyroid gland.

Before Your Procedure

  • Tell your physician if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Your physician may instruct you not to take certain thyroid medications, as they will interfere with the test results.
  • You should tell your physician and the technologist performing the exam if you are taking any herbal supplements, as they may also affect the test results.
  • Do not eat or drink for 2 hours prior to receiving the I 123 capsule(s) and for 2 hours after receiving the capsule.

During Your Procedure

  • This test is done in 2 parts on 2 separate days.

On the First Day:

  • You will be asked to swallow a small amount of radioactive iodine (or tracer) in capsule form. There are no side effects from the capsule. The thyroid gland absorbs iodine and will absorb the radioactive tracer.
  • The first day visit will take about 15 minutes.

On the Second Day:

  • You will return for the scan and uptake procedures.
  • You will be positioned on a table on your back.
  • The camera will be positioned close to your face and neck and will acquire 3 pictures.
  • Each picture can take as long as 10-15 minutes.
  • Total length of the second day visit is about 30-45 minutes.

After Your Procedure

  • Your doctor will be contacted with the results of your test and will discuss the results with you.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO