Health A-Z

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How It's Done

Usually, a bone scan is an outpatient test, conducted in a test facility or hospital. The isotope will be injected into one of your veins, usually in your arm. Because it takes about three hours for the isotope to travel to your bones, many test centers allow patients to leave for a couple of hours and return later. When you return, you will lie in various positions on a table while the camera scans your body. After the procedure, you can resume your normal activities.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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