• Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose and treat disease. It uses computer technology to provide doctors with information about both structure and function.
•Preparation for your Nuclear Medicine will depend on the type of exam. Before your NucMed scan, please contact us so we can provide specific instructions based on the type of scan you are undergoing and review your health and insurance information.
What to Expect
During the Exam
Before your exam, you will be given a radioactive tracer to make tissues visible on the scans. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the dose of radiotracer is then injected intravenously, swallowed or inhaled as a gas.
It can take anywhere from several seconds to several days for the radiotracer to travel through your body and accumulate in the organ or area being studied. As a result, imaging may be done immediately, a few hours later, or even several days after you have received the radioactive material.
When it is time for the imaging to begin, the gamma camera will take a series of images. The camera may rotate around you or it may stay in one position and you will be asked to change positions in between images. While the camera is taking pictures, you will need to remain still for brief periods of time. In some cases, the camera may move very close to your body. This is necessary to obtain the best quality images. If you are claustrophobic, you should inform the technologist before your exam begins.