What is a nuclear medicine scan?
Nuclear Medicine is a diagnostic imaging modality which uses small amounts of radioactive materials to create the images needed. While organ structure is seen, nuclear medicine is more about seeing how the organ functions. Small amounts of short half-life radioactive materials are attached to substances our bodies need to operate, when injected or consumed they allow us to see the targeted organs natural process. You will not require a driver.
Types of Scans
Nuclear Medicine Stress Tests are used to image blood flow to the muscle of your heart, helping us locate blocked or narrowed arteries. Images are taken of the heart, at rest and stress. The stress portion of the exam is conducted, using either a treadmill or a medication, under direct supervision of a physician. The exam will take around 3 1/2 hours.
Prep: The patient should have nothing to eat or drink including no cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or gum, except water for 4 hours prior to the appointment. No caffeine for 24 hours prior to the exam. No Beta blockers for 12 hours prior if you are scheduled for a treadmill stress. Please wear appropriate shoes for the treadmill.
HIDA Scans are used to determine if your gallbladder is functioning properly. Images are taken continuously to show that the flow of bile is not obstructed and that the gallbladder empties properly. The exam will take around 2 hours.
Prep: The patient should have nothing to eat or drink including no cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or gum, for 4 hours prior to the appointment. No prescription pain medication for at least 6 hours prior. Due to the length of the scan, bringing headphones and something to listen to is recommended.
Gastric Emptying Scans are used to determine if your stomach is emptying normally. You will be given a small meal of eggs and toast immediately prior to the scan. Then an image will be taken every hour after that. The exam will take around 4 ½ hours.
Prep: The patient should have nothing to eat or drink, including no cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or gum, for 6 hours prior to the appointment. Due to the length of the scan, bringing a book or video device is recommended.
Bone scans are used to visualize infections or cancers in the bones. You will be given an injection and return for images 3 hours later. The exam requires 2 visits, the injection visit will take around 30 mins and the images will take around 1 hour. You are not required to stay here between visits.
Prep: There is no preparation required for this exam, although we do recommend that you are well hydrated.
Thyroid Uptake and Scan is used to determine if your thyroid is functioning correctly. This exam requires 3 visits over 2 days. You be given a pill on your first visit and return to image 4 hours and 24 hrs later. Visit 1 is about 30 minutes, visit 2 is about 1 hour and visit 3 will be around 15 minutes.
Prep: When scheduling this exam we will need to know which medications you are taking and if you have any procedures with iodine contrast recently, since these may affect the accuracy of the exam. The first day of the exam the patient should have nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the exam. The other visits no prep is required.
Please call for available appointment times: 970.625.1100