WHAT IS A NUCLEAR MEDICINE SCAN?
Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty within the field of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat disease and other abnormalities within the body.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive and usually painless tests that help physicians diagnose medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer.
Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the tracer is injected into a vein, swallowed by mouth or inhaled as a gas and eventually collects in the area of your body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays. This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera, a (positron emission tomography) PET scanner and/or probe. These devices work together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and other internal body parts.
The tracer remains in the body temporarily before it is eliminated as waste, usually in the urine or stool.
PREPARING FOR A NUCLEAR MEDICINE SCAN
You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing.
Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or if they are breastfeeding their baby.
You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking as well as vitamins and herbal supplements and if you have any allergies.
Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the exam because they may interfere with the procedure.
Our imaging department seeks to provide your physician with the diagnostic tools needed to pinpoint an injury or illness, and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Our experienced staff works together to provide quality medical imaging services in a comfortable and convenient setting