Nuclear medicine tests use a radioactive tracer (radionuclide or radioisotope) and a special camera to take pictures of organs and tissues in the body. Nuclear medicine is commonly used for the following:
- Cardiac Stress Test
- MUGA Scan (Heart Ventricles)
- HIDA Scan (Liver, Gallbladder, Bile Ducts)
- Thyroid Scan
- Parathyroid Scan
- Renal Scan
- 3-Phase Bone Scan
- Gastric Emptying Scan
- DaTSCAN™ (Brain SPECT Scan)
A very small amount of tracer, specific for the organ or tissue to be scanned, is injected into a vein by a nuclear medicine technologist. Images may be taken during the injection, immediately after the injection, or following a delayed period to allow the tracer to distribute to the organ or tissue of interest. The gamma rays emitted by the tracer are detected by a special camera that is positioned near the organ or part of the body being imaged.
The amount of radiation from a nuclear medicine procedure is comparable to that received during a routine X-ray. The tracer only remains in the body for a short period of time before being eliminated in the urine or stool.
What to Expect
- Preparation instructions vary by the type of procedure your doctor has ordered. For a complete listing, go to Preparing for a Nuclear Medicine Procedure.
- Inform your physician and the nuclear medicine tech if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or might be pregnant.
- The actual nuclear medicine procedure generally takes from 30 to 60 minutes to complete. However, it can take several hours to complete all of the preparation steps depending on the type of images your doctor needs.
- The results of your test will be forwarded to your physician without delay, typically 1-2 days after the procedure.
Advanced Nuclear Imaging Studies in Wellington, Lake Worth, and Belle Glade
Independent Imaging is an accredited facility that specializes in diagnostic and interventional radiology. We offer state-of-the-art nuclear imaging studies at all our Palm Beach County locations in Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and Belle Glade. Dial (561) 795-5558 to schedule now.