Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine examinations evaluate both body anatomy and function. The images are produced by x-ray emissions from radioactive substances given to the patient, either intravenously or by mouth. Generally, radiation to the patient is similar to that resulting from standard X-ray exam.

During the imaging you will be lying on a table while a “camera” creates a picture from the radiation coming from your body. Since the pictures can take an extended period to acquire, it is necessary to remain still.

Nuclear Medicine evaluates the following:

  • Kidney function
  • Image of blood flow function of the heart
  • Lung scan for respiratory and blood flow problems
  • Blockages of gallbladder
  • Evaluate bones for fracture, infection,arthritis or tumor
  • Measure thyroid cancer, detect overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Determine the spread of cancer
  • Identify bleeding into the bowel

The nuclear medicine technologist will explain and perform your Nuclear Medicine scan.

  • Bone Scan – procedure time approximately 4-5 hours.
  • Renal Exam – drink plenty of liquids day of exam. Procedure time approximately 1 hour.
  • Hepatobiliary (HIDA/PIPIDA) Scan nothing by mouth 6 hrs prior to exam. Patients should not take morphine or certain pain medications the day of exam. Procedure time approximately 2 hours.
  • Thyroid Uptake and Scan
  • Lung Scan: procedure time approximately 1 hour.

The LRG board certified radiologist will study the images and provide a written report which includes a description of the findings. Reports are available to your physicians within 24 hours of the completion of the exam. The report could take longer if we are waiting for studies from an outside facility for comparison. If the results are urgent your physician may acquire a preliminary report by phone.