Instructions and Information for Procedures / Tests  

Please Note - What you see here is for information purposes only. While physicians have been consulted on this information, your specific condition may require additional instructions. ALWAYS consult with your physician to obtain specific information about the procedure or the instructions for your procedure.

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Procedure Name: I-131 Therapy (Radioactive Iodine Therapy)


Department Responsible for performing Procedure:
Nuclear Medicine

Department Contact Information:
(770) 909-2639

Where to Report:
Please enter through the Outpatient Entrance and go to Registration. Plan to arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Even if you have recently been hospitalized, you must register. You may be admitted to the hospital for 2-3 days, depending on the planned dose.

What to Bring:
- Physician Order
- Any forms from your physician relating to this visit
- Your insurance / Medicaid / Medicare card
- Driver's License / Photo Identification
- All of your medications OR a listing of all medications along with the dose, how often you take it, and the last time you took it
- A list of all of your allergies
- Please check with your insurance carrier for any authorization requirements.
- Any films or reports from relevant studies not performed at Southern Regional.


Patient Instructions:
- You must have had a baseline Thyroid Uptake and Scan prior to this test.
- You must not have any interfering x-ray exams requiring contract within 4-6 weeks prior to this exam.
- You should not take any thyroid medication.
- Please read the Procedure Information for additional instructions and information.
- Please follow any other specific instructions given to you by your doctor.

Procedure Information:
Radioactive iodine (I-131) is used to treat an overactive thyroid gland or thyroid cancer. You may be weighed and measured to determine the dose of the I-131. You will be asked to drink the iodine or to take it in capsule form. The iodine is attracted to the thyroid gland.

The nuclear medicine technologist measures the amount of radiation around your body. Higher doses may require a hospital stay. You may be admitted to the hospital for 2-3 days, depending on the planned dose. If you stay in the hospital, you will have to remain in the room by yourself until the radiation level goes down. Your body fluids, including your urine, are radioactive for several days. This is because the I-131 is eliminated in urine. Please urinate directly into the toilet while sitting down and flush twice.

Staff will place a sign on the patient's door "Caution-Radioactive Materials". The nursing staff will enter your room for short periods of time only, such as to check on you and take your vital signs. Visitors are limited to about 15 minutes a day. Visitors should maintain a distance of three feet from the patient, unless otherwise instructed. No children under 18 years of age, and no pregnant visitors are allowed. When the radiation level goes down to a safe level, you will be discharged home.


Additional Information:
Waiting Room for family is located in the Radiology Department. Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant prior to the scan. You will be asked a series of questions regarding your medical history. You will be asked to sign a consent form prior to the procedure.

Check Off Pre-Reg

Going to the hospital for a visit or surgery? Check Pre-Reg off your list. Take 15 minutes to fill out our Pre-Registration form.

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