Nuclear Medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of a variety of diseases. This includes many different conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and infection. The sooner problems are found, the better the chances for successful treatment or cure.
Is Nuclear Medicine Safe?
Nuclear medicine is extremely safe. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to for the test is comparable to, or oftentimes less than, that of a diagnostic x-ray. Remember, we are exposed to small amounts of radiation in our natural environments every day. For most tests, you would be exposed to the same amount of radiation acquired in a few months of normal living.
What to Expect during a Nuclear Medicine Test
Depending on the type of exam, a radiotracer will be injected into the body, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. The radiotracers give off emissions that are detected by an imaging device to provide your doctor with picture and molecular information of the area being studied. You will need to remain very still for brief periods of time while the camera is taking pictures. This ensures the best quality of images are obtained.
How to Prepare for a Nuclear Medicine Test
- Most tests require no special preparation
- Cardiac and gastrointestinal exams require four hours of fasting before the exam
- Some exams require a full bladder
- Stress tests require no caffeine for 24 hours prior to the scan
Schedule a Nuclear Medicine Test
You may schedule your Nuclear Medicine test at Rochelle Community Hospital by calling 815-562-2181, ext. 1350. We must have your doctor’s order on file before your Nuclear Medicine test may be scheduled.