Thursday, 3 January 2013

MAG 3 Scan

Recently, due to my current kidney problems, I had to get a MAG 3 scan with lasix. So, curious as to what was going to happen, I used the power of Google to find what would happen. Most of my searches lead me to hospitals for children (of which I do go to anyway), saying that all people get a catheter for the scan. I wasn't sure why this was, because of the nature of the scan, so I went on to search and mostly got the result 'your child's doctor may order a catheter.' For the most part, it's young children who get the scan so I couldn't find much information for a teenager or adult. So today I'd like to write about my MAG 3 Scan for other teens or adults to read. I know this is not arthritis related, please bare with me.

First off, I wore comfortable clothes. I got to keep my clothes, not hospital pyjamas, for the whole thing: There was metal on my clothes, so metal doesn't affect the machine. The machine is not affected by metal the way an MRI or Xray is.

I got an IV when I first got there. I know needles aren't pleasant, but it's over in just a few seconds.
The Technician hooked me up for a full bag of saline while I picked out a film to watch (you could probably bring things to do or read if your hospital doesn't offer that). Once I had taken all the fluid, I emptied my bladder. After I came back, I laid on the scan bed and the technician positioned the camera. He showed me the fluid he was about to give me through an IV. It is a radioactive substance, but will not harm you: It's so your blood and later urine show up on the scan. He gave it to me through the IV, and it did not hurt or make me feel sick. The camera took continuous pictures, like a video. Despite having to stay perfectly still for an MRI or Xray, I did not have to stay too still for this and I could talk as long as I didn't move my abdomen. The technician came to check on me often throughout the test.

After a bit, a doctor came and gave me Lasix (a medicine that makes your kidney work very fast) and more water through my IV. More pictures were taken. At this point, my bladder became very full and it was quite uncomfortable. Once the images were taken, I was able to empty my bladder. Then more pictures were taken. It was all finished after that and the IV was taken out.

The scan itself caused no pain, neither did the lasix. The only parts when I experienced discomfort was the IV placement and the full bladder I had to hold for pictures.

Really, a MAG 3 is no big deal. I'd do it again if I had to, no problem.

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