Nuclear Medicine is a branch of medicine and medical imaging that uses the nuclear properties of matter in the diagnosis of disease processes and for therapeutic treatments. Patients will receive a small amount of a radioactive material either by injection, inhalation or by swallowing a capsule. It will not make them sick: just highlight the area to be imaged. Images are obtained on a gamma camera that the patient lies under. You cannot feel anything while the images are being taken but it is important for the patient to lie still to produce the best quality images for the Nuclear Medicine Physician to read.
The images are reviewed and the results sent to the patient's doctor.
Nuclear Medicine procedures are very safe. The amount of radiation you receive from a Nuclear Medicine test is about the same as you would get from a diagnostic x-ray. The radiopharmaceutical administered does not contain any dyes and is less likely to cause reactions. A radiopharmaceutical or tracer is a specially designed compound that is bound to a radioactive material. These tracers are designed to act like natural products in your body. Nuclear Medicine tests look at how the body is functioning.
The following points are general information concerning Nuclear Medicine tests:
- Please contact the Nuclear Medicine department if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or actively trying to conceive at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- Please inform the office staff if you plan to cross the US border following your test.
- All patients must notify their doctor of the appointment date.
- All patients report to Rm. 428 and asked to bring a list of their medication with them.
- Please arrive at the hospital 20-25 minutes before your appointment and bring your health card.
- Patients will receive a radiopharmaceutical either by injection or by swallowing a capsule. It will not make them sick; just highlight the area to be imaged.
- Images are obtained on a gamma camera that the patient lays under.
- Images are reviewed and results sent to the patient’s doctor.
These are all general processes; please consult your physician to determine if there are any specific requirements needed for your appointment.
List of Exams and Information