I-131 Hyperthyroid Treatment

What is an I-131 Hyperthyroid Treatment?

What should you do prior to your child's treatment?

What should you do when you arrive?

What should you expect during treatment?

What should you do after treatment?

What is an I-131 Hyperthyroid Treatment?

An I-131 Hyperthyroid Treatment is used to treat an overactive thyroid gland or Graves' disease.

What should you do prior to your child's treatment?

Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink 2 hours prior to the treatment.

Your child should maintain a low iodine diet as specified by the ordering physician; no fish and/or seafood, no added salt, no frozen or canned foods, no seaweed or kelp.

Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany the child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.

What should you do when you arrive?

You must check in to Outpatient Registration, on the third floor of the Main Hospital, 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, the Nuclear Medicine Department will be notified. A technologist will come out to the central registration area and bring you and your child to the Nuclear Medicine exam room.

What should you expect during the treatment?

The technologist will explain the treatment to you and your child and then ask you to sign a consent form. Your child will then be given a radioactive Iodine capsule that helps to lower the function of their overactive thyroid gland. The amount of Iodine used for treatment is determined by a Thyroid Uptake and Scan study, which MUST be done prior to treatment. Your child is then followed up by his/her endocrinologist. In some cases, a second treatment may be necessary 6-12 months later.

A serum pregnancy test is required for all female patients age 10 or older. This must be done within 24 hours of the treatment, but after the 24 hour images from the Thyroid Uptake and Scan are performed. The Nuclear Medicine technologist will instruct you and your child where to go for this test. Treatments cannot be given without this requirement being met.

Child Life Specialists are available to answer questions you might have about how to prepare and support your child during the procedure. A child life specialist can also be present at the time of your child's appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways using well established preparation materials. The specialist can also be available to help implement distraction techniques to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience. Please call 215-590-2001 or click the link above for more information.

What should you do after the exam

Instruction regarding activities allowed after the treatment will be given to you and your child prior to the treatment for review. The Nuclear Medicine Physician will be available on the day of treatment for any questions or concerns regarding these instructions.

The nuclear medicine physician will also give you instructions regarding possible side effects of the treatment.

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