Lymph scan with gamma camera

Has anyone had a lymphoscintigraphy scan where radiation is injected and scanned twice with 2 hours between? I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and worried when they said they will inject my feet because of the pain and may cause cramps.

23 Replies

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  • It is standard practice for the dye to be injected into the gap between the toes. They usually apply anaesthetic gel first. It is a tiny amount of dye - you won't glow in the dark. You are usually sent off for an hour or so, then the scans map how far the dye has travelled. Over several hours.

    It shouldn't be painful. If you have any concerns, have a chat with the team, who will be able to reassure you.

  • Lynora you are so kind always answering. I am terrified of MRI's and worried I will be trapped or enclosed in it, plus my left leg no longer straightens.

  • IV-cross - put 'gamma camera' into a Google search - the device is donut shaped, and open-sided - you cannot get trapped or enclosed - and if your leg doesn't straighten, mention it to the radiographers doing the scan, so they can support it with foam wedges. Don't be worried - everyone involved is there to help and support you.

  • It's not painful. I suffer from lymphoedema in my legs, so part of the procedure is that you do not wear any compression garments for an hour or so. The only 'discomfort' I had were my enlarged and quite solid legs, made it quite tiring making my way home.

  • You are right it is exhausting hauling heavy legs do you find compression garments work and comfortable?

  • I also have LE in both my legs and had the same Lymphoscintigraphy scan that you will be having. The only part that's unpleasant is the injection - dye is injected simultaneously in between the two big toes of each foot. The rest is simple and painless as you sit and wait, then go on the gamma scanner, sit and wait some more, go back to the scanner etc. Do plan to be at hospital for approx half a day. Let the nurse and scan technician know about your anxieties so they can talk you through the procedure and perhaps they will give you extra anaesthetic in light of your arthritis. You will be ok and the scan is essential to determine if you do have LE so it's worth having :-) x

  • Hi, like other commentators I found the procedure was pain free as the gel they apply first is very good at numbing the area between the toes. The other responses explain the process very well so I won't repeat it but I do wish you the very best of luck, I hope it goes well for you.

  • Very many thanks for your kindness I do hope it is pain free!

  • I had this done in December. They injected each foot twice. The thought of it was worse - didn't really hurt. I expected injection actually between the toes, but they were more on the top of the foot near toes - between big toe and, let's call it, toe 2. And then between toes 3 and 4. A young lad had his done before me. He came out laughing with the nurse. I kind of thought well if he can do it..... The worst thing is I don't see the consultant and get my results until 21st March ☹

  • I do hope your results are okay it is hell waiting but I hope the info will help give you so comfort.

  • Thank you. Had a letter today, rearranging my appointment to 11th April. Not happy.

  • Where do you go?

  • QMC Nottingham. Thankfully swelling has been a bit better - cooler weather definitely seems to help.

  • Yes you are right when it was the hot hot summer my legs seized up from it. Does anything you do help?

  • Try to walk as much as possible. Did help before the weather got too hot in the summer. If I get out early in the morning, get walking boots on, I sometimes see my ankles for a while afterwards. My own version of compression socks 🙂 .I'm about 2 stones overweight. Trying to lose weight, but failing at the moment. Must keep trying, dreading the warm weather.

  • My feet are very large so walking is a no go for me but I'd be interested in your own version of socks.

  • It's my walking boots that do a good impression of compression socks. Hospital measured me for socks when I had my first appointment, suppose I'll get them in April. Shop bought ones didn't make any difference.

  • Hope it goes well x

  • Thank you x

  • I have recently had it done. The only painful part is when they inject you between the toes. I also hate being in a scan machine but this is different. It's like to flat plates. One goes over you and the other goes under the table you are lying on. I'm claustrophobic but felt comfortable having this done. I didn't have any breaks between scans because the liquid had travelled quite quickly through my system so they were able to do it in one 'sitting' (so to speak) It took about 3 hrs. I have osteoarthritis and 'touch wood' haven't had any ill effects. Talk to them beforehand and they will reassure you. Good luck

  • Thank you for your reply I can't tell you the comfort and peace of mind it has given me. It's only since becoming disabled am I worried about becoming trapped. I think its because it is harder to move. I too have Osteoarthritis in my knee does anything help you?

  • Don't worry you won't feel trapped. You are not enclosed in a scanner so you should be ok. As they were doing from my middle to my feet I was propped up and quite comfortable. It was quite soothing as they played CD's for me. So all in all not too bad. I have Osteo everywhere but worse in the base of my back as its being to wear away my spine. Pain gets really bad at times and I can't take strong pain killers as I react to them. I'm currently on Naproxen but not sure if it's helping. Are you taking anything that helps? x

  • I was keen to try Naproxen but no go with Methotrexate. I have a neck that spasms for the same reason as you. Bone pain is how I describe osteo and the only thing that helps is Boron. Ironically the more expensive one upset my tum but the cheap one works better. My calcium protein has always been low so I take calcium citrate but that too doesn't raise it but the boron helps the bone. Someone once recommended collagen for repair but you have to be careful what type.

    Rosehip powder works miracles but it does suit my tum sadly.

    I am glad you said about being propped up because I will feel I can breath, I hate lying flat it panics me.

    I believe devils claw can help with pain, boswellia cream can help too.

    Nothing works when at its worst! x

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