What is it?

A Radioiodine Total Body Search detects the presence of residual thyroid tissue or cancer spread in patients who have had their thyroid gland removed (thyroidectomy). Radioiodine TBS procedures are used to monitor patients for many years after having treatment for their thyroid cancer.


What do I need to do before the procedure?

You should make sure the service knows if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or are allergic to iodine.

A nuclear medicine doctor will speak to you before performing this procedure. They will explain how and why the radioiodine TBS will be performed and what special preparations needed for this procedure. All instructions will be explained and written down for you. As long as you follow these instructions, there will be no difficulty with this procedure.

Thyroid medications need to be stopped six weeks before receiving a radioiodine TBS dose. Foods and other medications containing iodine also need to be ceased for at least four weeks, and no CT scans with iodine contrast should be performed eight weeks before taking the radioiodine TBS dose.


What will happen?

The radioiodine TBS procedure is performed in two parts. You will be given a capsule that you swallow like a normal tablet. The capsule contains radioiodine. You will only need to be there for about 15 minutes.

Three days later, a scan will be performed. This part takes about one hour.


What can I expect after?

Side effects are very rare, but may occur when having this scan. These side effects can be reduced by drinking lots of fluid and sucking lollies for up to one week after your radioiodine dose.