How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the
needle puncture when the tracer is injected, or you may feel a brief sting or
pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Otherwise, a testicular scan is
usually painless. You may find it uncomfortable to remain still during the
scan, especially if your testicles are sore. Ask for a pillow or blanket to
make yourself as comfortable as possible before the scan begins.
Allergic reactions to the radioactive tracer are rare. Most of the tracer will be
eliminated from your body (through your urine or stool) within a day, so be
sure to promptly flush the toilet and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and
water. The amount of radiation is so small that it is not a risk for people to
come in contact with you following the test.
soreness or swelling may develop at the injection site. These symptoms can
usually be relieved by applying moist, warm compresses to your arm.
There is always a very slight risk of damage to cells or tissue from
being exposed to any radiation, including the low level of radiation released
by the radioactive tracer used for this test.
A testicular scan uses a camera to take
pictures of the
testicles after a
radioactive tracer accumulates in testicular tissues
(nuclear medicine test). The results of a testicular
scan are usually available within 2 days. In an emergency, results can be
available within an hour.
The radioactive tracer flows evenly through
the testicles. No accumulations of the tracer are found in any area of the
The tracer does not flow evenly through the
testicles, indicating narrowing of, blockage of, or damage to the blood vessels
in the testicles. This could indicate that blood flow has been reduced by a
twisted spermatic cord inside the testicle. This is called
Areas where the tracer accumulates in an
abnormal amount could indicate a condition such as a
cyst, tumor, pocket of infection (abscess), a blood clot, or inflammation of the tubes
(ducts) that carry sperm (epididymis). This is called
What Affects the Test
The results of a testicular
scan may not be accurate if you cannot remain still during the test.
What To Think About
ultrasound has largely replaced testicular scans to
investigate possible testicular torsion or tumors in the
testicles. For more information, see the topic Testicular Ultrasound.
- Abnormal results from a testicular scan may be further
investigated by other tests, such as a testicular
biopsy, an ultrasound test, or
- If a testicular scan is done
for a young boy, a parent can accompany him while the test is being