Q:

What should you do to get ready for a bone scan procedure?

A:

Quick Answer

A patient does not have to restrict her diet or activities when preparing for a bone scan procedure, according to Mayo Clinic. Just prior to undergoing the bone scan, the patient must remove jewelry and other metal objects, notes MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

The patient must refrain from consuming medications containing bismuth, such as Pepto-Bismol, for four days before the bone scan, advises WebMD. Also during the four days leading up to the procedure, she must not undergo any imaging test that uses barium contrast material. Bismuth and barium can affect the bone scan results.

A woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding needs to bring these issues to her doctor's attention prior to scheduling a bone scan. Due to concerns about the impact of radiation exposure on the unborn baby, doctors usually do not perform the procedure on a pregnant woman, reports Mayo Clinic. A breastfeeding woman may undergo the procedure as long as she does not breastfeed her child for two days following the bone scan, according to WebMD.

A bone scan is an imaging test that detects damage, disease, infection and trauma to bones, explains WebMD. The patient receives an injection of a radioactive substance that travels through her bloodstream until it reaches the bones. A special camera provides a visual representation of areas of bone that absorb abnormal amounts of the tracer, which helps the doctor diagnose conditions such as cancer and fractures.

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