Nuclear Medicine uses a small amount of radioactive matter (tracer) and a special camera to form images. This procedure is used to visualize the structure and function of an organ tissue, bone or system of the body.
For the benefits and risks of a specific nuclear medicine procedure, how to prepare, and more, select one of the services below.
A nuclear medicine scan is a type of imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body. The radioactive material is either injected into a vein, swallowed or inhaled as a gas and eventually accumulates in the organ or area of the body to be examined.
Once absorbed by your body, images are produced offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues.
The heart, lungs, thyroid, gallbladder, liver and bones are frequently imaged in the nuclear medicine suite.
You will need to wait a few minutes, hours or even a few days before having your scan. This allows the tracer to concentrate in the part of your body being studied.
- Follow any special diet or medication instructions provided by our office to ensure a quality imaging exam. To avoid delays or cancellation of your exam follow the instructions given for your specific scan.
- Have information about your health history including any allergies, medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you take.
Be aware that once you have been given the radioactive material that it can take anywhere from several seconds to several days to travel through your body and accumulate in the area to be studied. As a result, imaging may be done immediately, a few hours later or even several days after you have received the radioactive material.
Let your technologists know if you:
- Are pregnant, possibly pregnant, or breast feeding
- Have had a recent nuclear medicine scan
- Have had a recent barium study or an x-ray using contrast
- Have any fractures or artificial joints
- Have any allergies
- Any medications, vitamins and herbal supplements that you take.
- Any recent illnesses or other medical conditions.