Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging where tiny amounts of radioactive material known as radiopharmaceuticals are swallowed, inhaled, or injected into the body. A special kind of camera called a gamma camera is then used to pick up the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals, creating images from inside the body.
Nuclear medicine is useful for diagnosing many different medical conditions and may help identify diseases very early on. It can also be used to treat disease.
What You Need To Know Before Your Exam
- Every nuclear medicine appointment is different depending on the exam. For some appointments, you may be asked to leave after the radiopharmaceuticals are given and return later for the scan. Others involve multiple scans. Your provider will provide you with specific information about your exam, so you know what to expect.
- You may have to change into a gown, but many exams can be done in your street clothes.
- Each exam has different guidelines regarding food, water, and medications. You will be given information specific to you before your exam.
During your exam, the equipment will be positioned over the area of the body that is being scanned.