Nuclear Medicine
Radiology Services
Services & Conditions
Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

You will receive specific instructions based on the type of scan you are undergoing. However, the following guidelines usually apply to all scans.

What to expect

  • You will be positioned on an examination table. If necessary, a technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm.
  • A radiotracer will be used and depending on the type of nuclear medicine scan you are undergoing it will be injected intravenously, you will swallow it or inhale it as a gas.
  • It can take 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 special 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.

How to prepare

  • Inform your doctor about any medications you are taking as well as vitamins and herbal supplements and if you have any allergies.
  • Let your doctor know about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • Most nuclear medicine procedures do not require you to fast, however there are some that do. Specific instructions will be provided upon scheduling of these procedures.
  • You will wear your own clothing during the scan. Please wear something without metal clasps or zippers, as they will interfere with the study.
  • Leave jewelry and other accessories at home if possible, or remove them prior to the scan.

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