Nuclear medicine is commonly used in a variety of diseases including heart disease, stress fractures, bone or joint pain. Nuclear medicine provides functional information for many organs of the body. It can provide early detection of many diseases before these are detected by conventional radiology, allowing for earlier treatment and better prognosis.
The majority of commonly performed nuclear medicine studies use a small amount of radioactive tracer called Technetium, which is injected into a vein (or swallowed, depending on the procedure). This tracer accumulates in the area of the body being examined, where it gives off gamma rays which can then be detected by the gamma camera.
Nuclear Medicine scans are safe, low dose and can vary in length.
You will receive specific instructions for the procedure you are having at the time of scheduling your appointment. Some examinations do require fasting and some may require ceasing medications.
Our Nuclear Medicine Technician will direct you into the required positions to obtain the best images. You will need to stay still when requested. The gamma camera may be positioned very close to your body but will not touch you.
Scanning time will depend on the specific nuclear medicine examination. Some tests take 30 minutes while others are several hours long or spread across a day or multiple days. You may be required to visit several times to complete the examination You will be advised of your exact appointment duration upon scheduling your appointment.
Our Nuclear Medicine Physician will review the images and issue a report. Once completed, the report will be sent electronically to your referring health professional.
This examination has no associated side effects. In rare cases, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the radioactive material.
This examination is not suitable for pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers may undergo the procedure but will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours after the scan. Breast milk should be expressed & discarded during this period. Breastfeeding may resume after the 12 hours.
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