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Isotope bone scan

Posted Jan 16 2010 4:28pm
I got my isotope bone scan yesterday. It was a fairly simple procedure. I went in at around 9:30 in the morning, paid a huge Rs. 3,500 and waited for my turn. I was injected with a small quantity of isotope, a clear liquid using a small syringe. It was around 10 a.m. then. I was asked to return at 3 in the afternoon for the gamma ray scan.

People with functioning kidneys are advised to drink a lot of water so that the radioactivity of the isotope is flushed out through the urine and a clear scan can be obtained. However, since I was completely anuric, I figured it did not make sense to drink any excess water. The techs there did not know about this. To their credit, they did not insist that I drink a lot of water. They said, do whatever you're comfortable with! Nephro cases are really mind boggling for health care staff!

I returned at 3 p.m. I was ushered into a room where there was this fancy looking machine. I was made to remove any metal I was wearing - belt, mobile phone, wallet etc. and asked to lie on a narrow bed and stay still. I was asked to breathe normally. The scan took about 20 minutes. During the scan, a device basically moves above you. Claustrophobic people might find it difficult as for a brief period, there is this heavy object that is going over you, less than inch above your face!

I was asked to wait for a little while while they got the report ready. The report said "Metabolic bone disease" at the end after a couple of paragraphs of seemingly mild jargon. I asked to see the consultant. Dr. Kumaresan, the consultant said there was nothing to worry. The scan showed things we already knew and there were no "hot spots". My nephrologist would adjust my medication to take care of this.
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