Having Radioactive Iodine Therapy for the Treatment of Thyroid Conditions

The Nuclear Medicine Service at the Royal Free Hospital in London is one of the busiest in the UK and routinely performs a wide range of tests and treatments for many different conditions.

One of the treatments is Radioactive Iodine Therapy for patients with Hyperthyroidism (those who have an overactive thyroid gland) which has been successfully used since the early 1940’s and has an excellent safety record. Many patients are naturally nervous about having a treatment using radioactive substances so two films have been made to provide a fully comprehensive package of information to help patients better understand the process and the treatment they will be undertaking.

There are two films:-

The first is an Introduction to Radioactive Iodine Therapy and shows the journey of a patient through the process.

The second is more detailed information from both the consultant and the physicist and is the info that the patient is given when they visit the department - how the therapy works, how it is given and the precautions they will need to take afterwards.

The aims of the films are:-

  • inform patients of how safe the treatment is and how easy it is to take the Radioactive Iodine
  • To help patients understand
    • the information that they are given when considering the treatment
    • the simple precautions which protect their friends and family for the first few weeks after having the treatment
  • To provide a resource that patients, as well as friends and family, can refer to at any time to review the information or the precautions

Staff from the Nuclear Medicine Service at the Royal Free Hospital took part in making the film which gives patients a sense of familiarity when they visit the department and by showing the journey that a typical patient might take we hope to answer the majority of questions that are most commonly asked.