Medical Imaging

Nuclear Medicine > Exams & Procedures > Scintimammography

This scan is used to detect and localize masses in the breast.

The scintimammography scan involves the injection of a radioactive tracer that will flow to the breast tissue and localize in breast masses proportional to their level of activity. Pictures will be taken of each breast about five minutes after injection.

Preparation

  • Bring a list of all medications and supplements you take. This includes vitamins, herbal remedies, and holistic medications.
  • Do not bring children or pregnant women with you to the department. We do not want to expose them to unnecessary radiation.
  • Any of these procedures is subject to change according to the nuclear medicine physician. The duration of the tests is a rough estimate. Please be aware that the time may be lengthened if a scan has to be repeated, if emergency cases are brought to the department or due to unforeseen circumstances.

About the Procedure

  • The procedure takes about one hour.
  • A technologist will briefly explain the test to you and try to answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
  • A technologist will ask you a few questions about your medical history and medications.
  • You must change into a hospital gown, removing everything from the waist up.
  • The technologist will set up an intravenous line and give you an injection of a radioactive tracer into a vein.
  • You will be asked to lie down on a bed that has special padding.
  • A picture will be taken of each breast as it is suspended down from the bed padding.
  • An additional picture of the lymph nodes will be taken from above and possibly on angles without the bed padding.