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Professional Radiology and Outpatient Imaging Services

Procedure Prep - Bone Scan

How should I prepare for my exam?

If your previous imaging was not done at one of our locations, you may be asked to contact your former provider and request that your film be sent to us for a comparison study.

  • There are no restrictions prior to this exam. You may eat, drink and take all prescribed medications.
  • Wear comfortable clothes without metal fasteners, including zippers, buttons and snaps.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
  • Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
  • Please let us know if you have an insulin pump or glucose monitor. Our imaging machines may cause your device to malfunction, so it will need to be removed during your exam.

How long will my exam take?

A bone scan can take up to 4 or 5 hours. This time allows for two sets of images to be taken, with a 2.5 to 4-hour wait between sets.

What happens during my exam?

A small amount of radioactive tracer will be injected into a vein in your arm. Depending on the information your healthcare provider requested, you may have a set of images taken immediately after the tracer is injected. It takes several hours for the tracer to be absorbed by your bones. Therefore, you may leave Suburban Imaging after your injection and return 2 ½ to 4 hours later. (The technologist will give you a specific time to come back to Suburban Imaging.) You will be asked to drink extra liquids during this time.

When you return, you will be positioned on your back and images will be taken for about 30-45 minutes.

What happens after my exam?

Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider. Unless directed otherwise, you can resume your regular activities immediately after this exam.