I am going to describe what I experienced last Monday, when I had the MUGA scan done.

I was taken to a small room, where the technician explained the test. Blood would be removed, a tracer added, and the blood would be re-injected. A camera would take photos of my left ventricle, to find out how well the heart works.

He slowly drew 5 cc of blood from my arm. This took  25 to 30 minutes. During that time, I had to keep my arm extended. This was somewhat uncomfortable, but at 5 minute intervals the technician returned, to check on things, and I was able to move my arm to a slightly different position which helped somewhat. I had been given a warmed flannelette blanket, wrapped around my shoulders to keep me warm while this was all being done. A nice touch and one that was quite comforting, too.

At the end of this part of the procedure, the other technician (the first person went for his lunch) arrived and she put the blood back – with a tracer added.  This was very quick.

Next, I was taken to the scan room, and told to lie down, on my back, on the narrow cot. The technician placed three electrodes on my sides and chest. These control the camera, so that it takes pictures at the right time.  The equipment would be close to my face, so I kept my eyes shut during this part. It took about 25 minutes, with only a bit of noise, not bad at all. My left arm was up over my head, resting on the pillow, while the right was at my side. The left arm did feel quite uncomfortable toward the end of the test.

Then it was over.

I did not have to undress for the test. I hope that my heart is working okay, as this test is for a baseline, for the Herceptin treatment I am to have shortly.

Next time, I will describe the port placement, which was done this past Wednesday.