Radioactive iodine ablation therapy is the use of radioactive iodine to treat thyroid cancer by destroying any thyroid cells that may have escaped surgical removal.
The iodine (I-131) is administered by swallowing a small capsule. The iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland where the radiation dose concentrates in the thyroid cells and destroys them.
Once you have swallowed the capsule, you become radioactive. This reduces naturally by half about every one to two days. You will need to stay in hospital for a minimum of two days, depending on how quickly the radioactivity leaves your body.
During your hospital stay you will be in a special side room used exclusively by patients receiving your type of treatment. It comprises a bedroom and your own ensuite bathroom with shower.