A ProstaScint Scan is used to help locate prostate cancer. This test takes about 3 days to perform: one day for the tracer injection; two days for the imaging sessions, although the length of time for and between the imaging sessions may vary. Each session can take anywhere from 2 – 4 hours each.
What Does it Show?
It reveals disease areas that may not show up on other types of diagnostic tests.
Is There Any Special Preparation Needed Before the First Imaging Session?
No special preparation is required before the first imaging session. You can eat and drink before the procedure. If any special preparation is required, your doctor will give you instructions.
How is the Test Performed?
You will receive an injection into a vein in your arm. It contains a very small amount of radioactive material tracer. Adverse reaction to this injection is very rare. This tracer is carried in the blood and distributed throughout your body. You will have to wait approximately 30 minutes. This time frame ensures that tracer is absorbed by your body.
When you return from the waiting period, you will be asked to lie still on an imaging table. Images of your abdomen will then be obtained by a gamma camera. This camera detects the tracer that is absorbed by your body. This usually takes between 60 to 90 minutes.
Another set of images will be taken 72 to 120 hour later. No additional injection is required.
Is There Any Special Preparation Needed Before the Additional Imaging Session(s)?
The night before the second imaging session, you will have to take an oral laxative.
The morning before the session, you will have to have a cleansing enema. This is all done to ensure that there is no urine or stool to obstruct the images being taken. You should not have anything to eat 8 hours prior to the imaging session.
What Happens After the Test?
When the exam is completed, the nuclear medicine physician will review your images, prepare a written report and discuss the results with your doctor. Your doctor will then explain the test results to you and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.
What Other Information Should I Know?
- The amount of radiation you will receive during the test is no more than what you would receive from similar x-ray procedures.
- The tracer you are given remains in your body for a short time and is cleared from the body through natural bodily functions. Drinking plenty of fluids will help eliminate the material more quickly.
- You should be able to resume your daily activities after the test.