Nuclear Medicine is the use of radioactive medicines to diagnose disorders and to evaluate the function of organs. Nuclear Medicine provides a metabolic image or evaluating function instead of the anatomical (structural image) provided by other exams such as MRI, CT or X-ray.
Overview of Studies:
Evaluates the bones for fractures, metastatic bone cancer, arthritis and many other problems with the bones.
Preparation: No prep. Eating or drinking prior to the procedure is allowed as long as other studies are not being done which prevent eating and drinking.
Procedure: You will be given an injection. You will be given a time to return within 2-3 hours. Between the injection and return time you will be asked to drink 15 - 20 oz. Of fluids, avoiding milk products. The scan itself will usually take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Evaluates the function of the gallbladder.
Preparation: You cannot have anything to eat or drink 4 hours prior to the scan.
Procedure: Evaluates the filling of the gallbladder and the patency of ducts going to the small intestines. You will be given an intravenous injection prior to the exam. You will be under the camera for 1 hour or until the gallbladder and small intestines are visualized. The doctor may require more images for up to 4 hours if these are not readily visible.
Hida with CCk - Evaluates gallbladder (GB) function, filling and emptying.
Procedure: Hida with CCk is performed as above, but once the gallbladder and small intestines are visualized, CCk, a hormone, will be given to see how well the gallbladder is emptying, which is known as ejection fraction. CCk may cause some abdominal pain or nausea or may recreate the symptoms you already have. Discomfort caused by the medicine will go away shortly after the CCk is finished. This portion of the exam takes 30 minutes to complete.
GASTRIC EMPTYING :
Evaluates how well the stomach empties solid food.
Preparation: No eating or drinking past midnight prior to the study.
Procedure: You will be given an egg sandwich tagged with radioactive medicine. (If you are allergic to eggs please notify your referring physician.)
For a 2 hour study - Pictures will be taken for 2 hours after you have eaten the egg sandwich.
For a 4 hour study - After you have eaten the egg sandwich, you will be given times to return once an hour over a period of 4 hours for pictures. No eating or drinking is allowed until the test is completed.
Evaluates the function of the thyroid gland (Thyroid nodules, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism).
Preparation: No prep required. **If you are on thyroid medication you will have to discontinue use for a period of time which will be determined based on the type of medication you take.** If a CAT scan (CT) with IV contrast has been done a thyroid scan and uptake cannot be performed until 6 weeks after the CT scan.
Procedure: You will be given 3 pills to take and will return 5 - 6 hours later for the scan. If an uptake has been ordered, you will be asked to return the following morning for the uptake, usually at the same time as the appointment of the previous day.
If you have children, please make arrangements for childcare, as there are no childcare facilities on site. Children are not allowed in the examination room.