Nuclear medicine

Your appointment

We offer appointments between 9am and 5pm. Some examinations take several hours, so we may only be able to do them at specific times.

How to get an appointment

You can be referred for a scan or test by your GP or specialist doctor.

Changing your appointment

To change or cancel an appointment for a scan, please phone 020 7188 4112.

To change or cancel an appointment at the thyroid clinic, please phone 020 7188 4110.

Before your appointment

Please check your appointment letter for any instructions you need to follow before your appointment.

You may need to:

  • stop eating and drinking for a certain amount of time before your appointment, this could include not drinking caffeine
  • stop taking certain medicines before your appointment

If you do not follow the instructions in your appointment letter, we may not be able to carry out the scan.

If there are no special instructions in your appointment letter, you can eat and drink as normal and take your usual medicines.

For some scans, a technologist or a nurse will phone you a few days before your appointment to check your preparation and medication.

We'll check your pregnancy status with you before all nuclear medicine tests and scans. If you are, or think you may be, pregnant you must tell us as soon as possible.

If you're breastfeeding, please tell us before you come to your appointment. We'll let you know if you need to stop breastfeeding or if you need to store any breast milk to use for feeds on the day of the examination.

Please bring with you:

  • a list of medicines you take
  • your appointment letter

During your appointment

We recommend that you wear comfortable, loose clothing. Usually you do not need to undress for your scan. You may need to remove items such as belt buckles, jewellery and other items of clothing with metal.

You're welcome to bring 1 friend or relative with you for support. They'll not be able to come into the scanning area with you. Please do not bring children with you. 

Find out more about our visiting guidance.

After your appointment

You can go home after your scan and eat and drink as normal. You may be asked to drink more than usual for the rest of the day. This is to help wash the radiation out of your body.

Please read your appointment letter carefully. It will tell you if you need to avoid close prolonged contact with children for the rest of the day. For most tests this is not necessary.

Last updated: September 2023

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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