Iodine is needed by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. Iodine-131 is a radioactive form of iodine that is absorbed by the thyroid. The radiation damages the thyroid tissue aiming to partially destroy the thyroid so it doesn’t produce too much thyroid hormone.
Iodine 131 therapy has been used for more than 40 years. Extensive experience has shown it is a very safe and effective way of treating hyperthyroidism.
As a precaution, you cannot have this treatment if you are pregnant.
There is a possibility your thyroid may change to under-active. This will need to be monitored and treated with medication by your referring doctor.
Rarely mild neck soreness may occur and can be treated with pain relief medications.
You will need a referral from your doctor and need to have a recent Technetium-99m thyroid uptake scan to confirm that iodine131 therapy will be effective.
You will need to stop thyroid medication 5 days before your therapy.
If you are female and of child bearing age, you will need to confirm that you are not pregnant or breast feeding.
Upon arrival you will have a consultation with one of our doctors. You will need to sign a consent for the iodine treatment. The Iodine comes in a standard sized capsule, that you will need to swallow with some water.
For 5 days after treatment you will need to take precautions to limit the radiation you are exposing to others.
Keep your distance. Increasing the distance between you and others means less radiation they receive.
Limit your time. Radiation exposure to others depends on how long you spend with them, so do not remain too close for longer than necessary.
Good hygiene. A small amount of radiation will be excreted through your saliva, urine and faeces, so flush the toilet twice after use and wash your hands well. Sleep alone, avoid sharing food and avoid kissing.
You will need a follow up appointment with you referring doctor to monitor your thyroid function.
How much will it cost?
Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.
How do I access my images?
At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.