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What is ProstaScint®?

ProstaScint® is an imaging agent that can help locate prostate cancer.  Before it is used, ProstaScint® is combined with a small amount of radioactive material called Indium.  As ProstaScint® passes through your body, it will attach to areas where prostate cancer cells may be located.  These areas will be visible to a special camera, called a gamma camera, that can detect the small amount of radiation given off by the Indium 111.  Using this equipment, pictures or images will be produced that reveal disease areas that may not show up on other types of diagnostic tests.

 
Are Nuclear Medicine scans safe?

When ProstaScint®  is administered to you, it contains a small amount of radioactive material to make it possible for special cameras to detect it within the body.  This small amount of material should not cause you any harm.  The camera that is used to take the images does not produce any radiation, so even though many pictures will be taken, you will not be exposed to any additional radiation.

 
Are ProstaScint® scans covered by medical insurance?

Yes.  The Nuclear Medicine procedures performed with ProstaScint® are established procedures that are covered by most insurance companies.  It is advisable to contact your insurance carrier for information about its specific policies for reimbursement.

 

How many imaging sessions are there?

Typically only one imaging session is necessary, which will usually take place four days (96 hours) following the ProstaScint® injection.  A second imaging session (usually on the 6th or 7th day) may be necessary (about 25% of patients) but depends on results of initial images.  Keep the appointment for the second day of imaging unless you have been contacted and are told you do not need to return.

 

Do I need to provide any information?

On your first visit for the ProstaScint® injection you will be asked to provide your insurance information and will be given a question sheet to fill out (takes less than 10 minutes to complete) which you may fill out at this time or return on your second visit for the imaging.  The questions all pertain to your medical history regarding the prostate cancer.  We will also ask your physician to provide us with some information, but this is not always as complete as the information you may provide.

 

What happens at the time of injection?
A Nuclear Medicine technologist will review the entire procedure with you.  This will be a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have.  Indium 111 ProstaScint® will be injected into a vein over a short period of time.  A Nuclear Medicine professional will administer the injection and monitor you during and shortly after the injection. There are usually no unpleasant reactions and other activities do not need to be changed at this time, including eating and drinking (unless you are also scheduled for a CT scan. If you are scheduled for a CT scan you will be given a separate set of instructions).

 

Are there any side effects associated with ProstaScint®?

Prostascint® is generally well tolerated.  Adverse effects have been reported in about 4% of patients.  The most common adverse reactions are increased levels of bilirubin in the blood (normally preset in small amounts), elevated blood pressure and low blood pressure.  These reactions were reported to occur in less than 1% of patients.  It is very unlikely that you will experience any symptoms.  There have been no reported deaths or serious adverse reactions. 

 

Will my activities be restricted in any way following a scan?

No. After a ProstaScint® infusion you will be able to resume your normal daily activities.  A ProstaScint® infusion will have no effect on your sexual function.

 

What happens prior to the first scanning session?

The day before the first scan you will be asked to begin a clear liquid diet, followed by an oral laxative in the evening.  The morning of the session you will be instructed to use a cleansing enema before coming in for your appointment.  Immediately before each scan is started you will be asked to empty your bladder.  This is done to give the Nuclear Medicine physician a clearer picture to examine.  The presence of urine or stool can make it hard to see areas on which the specialist needs to focus.

 

What happens during the first scanning session?

About 96 hours (4 days ) after you have received the ProstaScint® injection, a Nuclear Medicine technologist will position you under a special camera and take a number of different images or pictures.  The scanning or imaging process usually takes about two hours, but may vary.

 

Is the second imaging session the same as the first?

No, the procedure for the second imaging session is shorter and you will not be asked to take laxatives or an enema.  This session is only to take more pictures, and again is not necessary in the majority of patients.

 

What happens after the scanning sessions are completed?

Once the ProstaScint® scans are completed for each session, you will be able to resume your normal daily activities.  A Nuclear Medicine physician who specializes in the interpretation of ProstaScint® scans will study and analyze the pictures and the results will be sent to your doctor.

 

What do I do if I need to cancel an appointment?

Test cancellation during business hours call 239-936-4068; after hours only call 239-425-4557

 

Where is this procedure performed?
 
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