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Old 09-10-2010, 07:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern virginia
Posts: 292
kwebster HB User
Re: radioactive iodine details? risks?

Hi! I'm assuming the RAI is for post op ablation for thyroid cancer?? It is a pill. The strength depends on what you're being ablated for. Cancer normally gets a big dose - 150 millicuries for me was the max. I had mine done in the hospital (2 night stay) since my state does not allow otherwise. Anyway, met with the nuke docs before. No real long term side effects unless you need to have it done multiple times (they told me 5 in a lifetime). I went to my hospital room with the nuke people, arranged my things for the stay, swallowed the pill with water. The nuke people immediately measured the radioactivitiy - oh, it's big time glowing!!! Then they got the heck out of there! Seriously, they slid my food tray into my private room, buzzed the intercom to check on me. You will be isolated!! The nuke people are the only ones that will check on you and measure the radiation level.

The only side effects I had were tiredness on the second - fifth day. I wasn't that nauseous. You need to bring sour lemon drops. That helps keep your salivary glands working. You will also need to shower frequently and stay away from others. They should give you the protocol. My scan was exactly one week later after I was discharged from the hospital. Since you are still radioactive, you just lie down and get scanned. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.