Gallium scan makes use of radio-active element gallium as tracer to identify location of abnormalities in the body. Doctor recommends gallium scan to diagnose reason for unexplained fever and pain, to check presence of cancerous cells, or as a follow-up procedure for cancer patients. It can also be used on patients suffering from lung disorders like sarcoidosis (nodules formed by chronic inflammatory cells), tumor in the lung, respiratory infection, scleroderma, pulmonary embolism (arterial blockage) and primary pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in cardiac arteries).Gallium Scan Cost in Various Indian Cities
Procedure for gallium scan is similar to that of any nuclear medicine test. Patient is made to change into hospital gown and told to remove any metallic jewelry. Gallium is mixed in a solution and is injected into the veins of the arm. This solution containing gallium then travels through the whole body and gets accumulated in places where cancerous cells or abnormalities are present.
You will need to wait for at least 2-3 hours for the body to absorb tracer. During this time period, you can drink lots of water to flush out toxins from the body. Once body absorbs tracer, you are made to lie down on your back on examination table and a large scanner or camera is moved over entire body from above. The scanner helps to capture internal body images and locate places where tracer has gathered. Images are captured from various angles for detail and precise examination of the subject. These images are viewed on computer screen by radiologist to diagnose diseases. You may need to change position while lying down on table to get more elaborate pictures. It is also advised not to move while images are getting captured to prevent occurrence of blur images.
Women who are expecting or are on lactation need to inform doctor beforehand about the same in order to prevent harm to the fetus or baby. Radioactive element may get mixed with breast milk and contaminate baby's feed. Also, people who take medications that comprise elements like barium and bismuth must refrain from taking them before appointment. These elements may interfere with radio-active tracer and affect results.
Gallium scan is an outpatient procedure which means, patient can return home on the same day of the test and can resume daily activities without any delay. Procedure is uber safe and the quantity of radiation given to patient is very less as compared to radiation that occurs in X-ray procedures. Consult doctor if any of the side-effects or complications last for long time.