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Men's Health

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Testicular Scan

A testicular scan uses a special camera to take pictures of the testicles camera.gif after a radioactive tracer builds up in testicular tissues (nuclear medicine test).

During a testicular scan, the tracer is injected into a vein in your arm. It travels through your blood to the testicles. Parts of the testicles where the tracer builds up in abnormal amounts may be a sign of some types of tumors. The tracer may also show where there is a pocket of fluid (cyst) or infection (abscess).

A scan may be done in an emergency to find out the cause of sudden, painful swelling of a testicle. That problem can be caused by a twisted cord in the testicle. This condition is called testicular torsion. Get medical care and treatment right away if you have this problem.

Testicular ultrasound has largely replaced these scans to look for testicular torsion and tumors.

Why It Is Done

A testicular scan is done to:

  • Find out the cause of a painful, swollen testicle.
  • Check for damage to the testicles caused by an injury.
  • Look at the flow of blood within the testicles.

How To Prepare

You don't need to do anything to prepare for the scan.

You may be asked to sign a consent form before the test.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

A testicular scan is usually done by a nuclear medicine technologist. The scan pictures are usually looked at by a radiologist or nuclear medicine specialist.

You will need to remove any jewelry that might get in the way of the scan. You may need to take off all or most of your clothes. You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.

The technologist cleans the site on your arm where the radioactive tracer will be injected. A small amount of the tracer is then injected.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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