The specific type of scan may vary. This article provides a general overview.
A renal scan is similar to a renal perfusion scintiscan. It may be done along with that test.
You will be asked to lie on the scanner table. The health care provider will place a tight band or blood pressure cuff on your upper arm. This creates pressure and helps your arm veins become bigger. The inner elbow is scrubbed with numbing medicine (antiseptic) and a small amount of radioisotope is injected into a vein. The specific radioisotope used may vary, depending on what is being studied.
The cuff or band is on the upper arm is removed, and the radioactive material moves through your blood. The kidneys are scanned a short time later. Several images are taken, each lasting 1 or 2 seconds. The total scan time takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
A computer reviews the images and provides detailed information about how your kidney works. For example, it can tell your doctor how much blood the kidney filters over time.
You should be able to go home after the scan. You may be asked to drink plenty of fluids and urinate frequently to help remove the radioactive material from the body.