Nuclear Medicine at Palomar Health

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear Medicine is a branch of radiology that uses radioactive materials to determine if certain organs or bones such as the heart, kidneys, liver, thyroid, brain and lungs are working properly. It is also used to examine the bones for cancer, infection or trauma.

What should I expect?

Before the test begins you will be given a small amount of radioactive material called a radioisotope, which will be injected or swallowed. There should be little or no discomfort involved in the test. In many cases there will be a delay between the time you are given the isotope and the time the scan is done. This allows the isotope to flow through the body and concentrate in the organ of interest. In some cases, a series of scans will be taken with a delay of one or two hours between them.

Patient Preparation

There is no general set of instructions for all nuclear medicine examinations. You physician will give you instructions on how to prepare for your specific exam. It is important to follow these instructions to ensure the most accurate diagnostic results.

Bone Scans

No restrictions. Come well hydrated.

Exam Results

Your exam will be read and a report will be phoned, faxed or mailed to your physician promptly. He/she will share the results with you.

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