What to Expect


What to Bring

Bring with you to your appointment your:

  • White Mount Sinai card. If you do not have a white Mount Sinai card, please come in half an hour early and go to the Admitting Department, located on the main floor of the hospital near the Murray Street entrance.
  • Government-issued health card (OHIP card), or another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or a driver's license.


Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire

You will be given a form to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have.

The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you chose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.​


Before the Scan

Check in with Nuclear Medicine Reception 15 minutes before your appointment.

After you have checked in, a technologist will inject a small amount of radioactive material, called a tracer, into a vein in your hand or arm.

Female patients: Please tell the technologist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before receiving the injection.

Some pictures of your bones may be taken as soon as you have received the tracer.

After the injection the receptionist will give you a time to return to the Nuclear Medicine area. This time will be between 2 and 3 hours after the injection. You can leave the Nuclear Medicine area once you know when you need to return.

During the waiting period after the injection your bones will absorb the radioactive tracer, allowing them to show up clearly on the pictures the technologist will take. We ask that you drink five cups of fluid and empty your bladder often while you are waiting for your bones to absorb the tracer. This will help flush out any of the tracer that is not absorbed into your bones.

When the waiting time is over, return to the Nuclear Medicine area and check back in with the receptionist. The technologist will then take you to the scan room. The technologist may ask you to change into a hospital gown.


During and After the Scan

The technologist will ask you to lie on a scanning bed. The technologist will then start taking pictures with the gamma camera. This can take between 30 and 60 minutes. The camera may move around you during the scan. You may also be asked to move or change positions during the scan.

You can resume your normal daily activities after the scan. Bone scans have no known side effects.


The Results of your Scan

The technologist uploads and processes your scan pictures to a computer database. A nuclear medicine physician or then writes a report on what the bone scan shows and faxes this report to your doctor. Your doctor will give you the results of the scan. The technologist cannot give you the results when your scan is finished.


How Long Will Your Appointment Be?

The bone scan can last up to 1 hour. Your entire appointment (including waiting time) can take between 3 and 5 hours.

We do our best to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays. For example, make sure your arrangements for things like babysitting, elder care and parking can accommodate a longer than usual appointment.

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