Preparing for Nuclear Medicine Exam
- You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing. You should inform your physician and the technologist performing your exam of any medications you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements. You should also inform them if you have any allergies and about recent illnesses or other medical conditions. Jewelry and other metallic accessories should be left at home or removed prior to the exam because they may interfere with the procedure. You will receive specific instructions based on the type of scan you need.
- You will be positioned on an examination table. If necessary, a nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) catheter into a vein in your hand or arm. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the dose of radiotracer is then injected intravenously, swallowed or inhaled as a gas.
- It can take anywhere from 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 camera or scanner will take a series of images. The camera may rotate around you or it may stay in one position and you may 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. In some cases, the camera may move very close to your body. This is necessary to obtain the best quality images. If you are claustrophobic, you should inform the technologist before your exam begins.
- The images obtained during your exam will be reviewed by a radiologist and a technical report will be sent to the ordering physician. Your provider will then review result with you.
We are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call (530) 529-8280 to make an appointment.
Question about Your Exam?
If you have a question about your exam, please call our department at (530) 529-8280.