Nuclear Medicine is a way to tell your doctor about the function of the organ systems in your body. Our technologist will place an intravenous catheter (commonly called an IV) and use it to infuse a faint level of radioactive medication during your exam. This medication is produced locally and only last for a short time, so making your appointment on schedule is vital. The type of medication will vary depending on the organ being tested, and must be ordered and prepared in advance of your testing. This medication is prepared specifically for each individual patient and cannot be used on other patients or stored for a later date. The cost of this medication will be passed along to you if you fail to give at least 48 hours notice of cancellation prior to the time of your scheduled appointment. Click here to see specific nuclear medicine cancellation instructions. Some of the more common tests are listed below. This is not a complete representation of tests that are available at our office. Our technician is a Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist.
Cardiac Stress Test – A cardiac stress test is performed to evaluate arterial blood flow to the heart muscle during physical exercise, compared to blood flow while at rest. You will either walk on a treadmill, or some patients who are unable to walk safely can be “exercised” with IV medication instead of walking on a treadmill. Before the exam, you must not eat or drink for six hours before the appointment time. Please do not take any of your medications prior to the test but you may bring them with you. Please wear comfortable clothing such as a jogging suit and athletic shoes. This exam will take approximately 3 to 4 hours.
Hida Scan – This study examines the gallbladder function and the ducts leading out of the gallbladder. Before the exam, you must not eat or drink for six hours before the appointment time. Medications may be taken with the exception of Morphine and Demerol. This exam will take approximately 2 hours.
Bone Scan – Bone imaging is a study to visually detect bone abnormalities. You will be injected with IV medication 3 hours prior to the exam and will be allowed to leave our facility and return 3 hours after you have been injected. During the time you are allowed to leave our facility you may eat, drink and take all of your routine medications. When you return your scan will take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Thyroid Scan / Parathyroid Scan – This study may be done to evaluate thyroid nodules, thyroid function in general, or parathyroid glands, which are small and imbedded in the body of the thyroid gland itself. This exam will take approximately 1 hour.