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What to do before having a bone scan:
Tell your doctor if you might be pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, if you have taken a medication that contains bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol) or had an X-ray test using barium contrast material (such as a barium enema)
Empty your bladder right before the scan
There are two parts to having a bone scan: the injection and the scan. It takes 2-5 hours for the tracer to be absorbed by your bones, so pictures taken with the special bone scanning camera are not usually taken until 2-4 hours after the tracer is injected. Therefore, you may have to wait several hours during the appointment. You will be asked to drink extra fluids after the tracer is injected, to help your body get rid of any tracer your bones do not absorb. It may take up to an hour for the actual bone scan and you may be asked to lie very still or to move into different positions. A radiologist or nuclear medicine specialist will read and interpret your bone scan results.
Possible Side Effects
Allergic reaction to the tracer (rare). Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dyes, or latex should notify their provider.
Soreness or swelling where the tracer was injected with a needle into your arm
Your body eliminates most of the radiation from the tracers after one day and completely after 2 days. There is very little exposure to radiation in a bone scan- half of the radiation that is in other procedures such as a standard X-ray.