What is it
Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive material, a special camera and a computer to create images of the inside of your body. It provides unique information that often cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures to help diagnose many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other health conditions. Because nuclear medicine procedures are able to pinpoint molecular activity within the body, they may detect disease in its earliest stages when it is most easily treated.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive and, with the exception of intravenous injections, are usually painless medical tests that help physicians diagnose and evaluate medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers.
NAR currently provides the following Nuclear Medicine exams;
Bone scans, Hida scans, Gastric Emptying scans, Thyroid uptake scans,Renal scans and Breast
Lymphoscintigraphy , Positron emission tomography (PET)
What to Expect
Except for intravenous injections, most nuclear medicine procedures are painless and are rarely associated with significant discomfort or side effects.
When the radiotracer is given intravenously, you will feel a slight pin prick when the needle is inserted into your vein for the intravenous line. When the radioactive material is injected into your arm, you may feel a cold sensation moving up your arm, but there are generally no other side effects. When swallowed, the radiotracer has little or no taste.
Through the natural process of radioactive decay, the small amount of radiotracer in your body will lose its radioactivity over time. It may also pass out of your body through your urine or stool during the first few hours or days following the test. You should also drink plenty of water to help flush the radioactive material out of your body as instructed by the nuclear medicine personnel.