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What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotope to determine if specific organs such as the kidneys, gallbladder and thyroid are functioning properly. The most common exam is a full body bone scan used to examine the bones for cancer or trauma.

Nuclear Medicine

What to Expect

Several hours before the test begins you will be given a small amount of radioactive isotope that will be injected or swallowed. The specific exam to be given determines the time allowed between when you are given the isotope and the scan begins. Tracking the isotope as it moves through your body can give your physician valuable information about how specific body organs are functioning. A camera, called a gamma camera measures the radiation and forms an image on film. By looking at the spots of increased or decreased absorption of the isotope, defects and problems can be identified. The radioactivity is quickly eliminated from the body and there are no side effects to the exam.


Instructions vary depending upon the body part to be scanned. Your physician or our technologist will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your exam. This exam is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.

How Long Will it Take?

Exam times vary depending on the body part being scanned. Our technologist can give you an estimate based upon the exam you are having.
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