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Radioactive Iodine Treatment
|The Thyroid Gland|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Hyperthyroidism—the thyroid gland is overactive
- Certain types of cancer, such as thyroid cancer
- Inflammation of the salivary glands causing painful cheeks and dry mouth
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Neck pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tightness in throat
- Abnormally high or abnormally low thyroid hormone levels
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- If advised by your doctor, eat a special diet. Your doctor may want you on a special low iodine diet prior to the procedure. This may help your procedure to be more successful.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. Some thyroid hormone medications should be discontinued up to 4 weeks before the procedure. Other medications used to treat hyperthyroidism should be discontinued a minimum of 5-7 days before the procedure.
- For 2 hours before the procedure, do not eat or drink anything. Water may be allowed.
- If you are a woman of childbearing age, the doctor will do a pregnancy test.
- A thyroid uptake and scan may be done before the treatment.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Do not eat any solid foods for at least 2 hours after treatment. Drink a lot of clear liquids, such as water or juice.
- For the first 8-12 hours following treatment, use the bathroom every hour. This will help flush the excess iodine from your body.
- Limit your contact with others. Do not enter a room with any infants or children. Stay at least 3 feet away from other adults. Do not stay near any other adult for more than a few minutes. Do not share a bed with anyone for 48 hours following the treatment.
- Do not share any food, drink, or dishes with anyone for the first week. Do not allow your saliva to come into contact with anyone. Avoid kissing and sexual contact.
- Flush the toilet twice after use.
- Wash hands often and thoroughly.
- Resume normal thyroid medications 48 hours after the treatment.
Call Your Doctor
- You have fever or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive fatigue
- Worsening pain or swelling in the neck
- You are not urinating even with adequate fluid intake
- Tightness in throat or trouble breathing
- Numbness in your face
- Rapid pulse
- Reviewer: Kim A. Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 12/2015
- Update Date: 12/14/2015