What is it?
A Gallium Scan is a test that is used to detect a number of diseases including infections, inflammation and various tumours, particularly Lymphoma. It provides information that may not be obtained by other tests such as X-rays or CT Scans.
What do I need to do before the procedure?
Make sure you remember to bring any previous films or reports to the appointment. Wear warm comfortable clothing. You will also need to:
- Medications - take your medications as normal
- Advise of pregnancy or breastfeeding - let the service know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
What will happen?
At your first appointment, a small injection of a radioactive tracer (Gallium) is given into a vein in the arm. The injection circulates and distributes within your body. You are able to go home after the injection.
Depending on why the test is done, you will return 2 days later to have pictures taken on a special camera. This will take up to 1 hour. You will be required to lie still during the pictures and breathe normally.
As the radioactive tracer leaves the body through the bowel, this may occasionally prevent a good picture of the abdomen. If this is the case you may be asked to return for further pictures for up to 10 days after the injection to allow time for the bowel to empty naturally.
What can I expect after?
There are no after-effects from having this scan. The small dose of radiation in the injection is about the same as you would get from a CT scan.
Once it is finished, you can go home. You are able to drive immediately after the test. Your results will be sent to your GP or specialist.