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What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine involves the use of small amounts of radioactive material to examine organs and tissues. The material allows physicians to better determine the structure and function of the internal body, making nuclear medicine helpful in the early diagnosis of certain diseases, including cardiac disease.

When is Nuclear Medicine used?

Nuclear medicine is used to diagnose many diseases, including abnormalities in the following areas:

  • Bones
  • Brain
  • Breasts
  • Gall bladder
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Thyroid

What can I expect?

A nuclear medicine scan includes three parts: administering the radioactive material, taking a scan to view the material in the body, and interpreting the test. Test times vary depending on the area of the body being examined. A typical exam includes the following processes:

You will be asked to remove any jewelry or other objects that may interfere with the procedure and may be asked to put on a gown. An intravenous (IV) line will be started in your hand or arm. You will lie flat on a table in the procedure room with the gamma camera positioned over the table and will lie as still as possible while the gamma camera obtains the necessary images.

When can I expect results?

The results of your exam typically are ready for your physician within 48 hours. Please allow 7 - 10 days for your physician to receive and review your test results. If you do not receive results after 14 days, please be sure to contact the physician who ordered the test.

How do I schedule a test?

To schedule a nuclear medicine procedure, please call 630.275.APPT (2778).

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