What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medicine that uses small amounts of radioactive materials, known as tracers, to generate useful images of the inside of your body. Dr. Minh Nguyen offers nuclear medicine services to patients at Excel Medical Imaging in New Port Richey, Florida. If you need to schedule an appointment for nuclear medicine services, please contact Excel Medical Imaging today by calling or booking online.
Nuclear Medicine Q & A
How does nuclear medicine work?
During nuclear medicine tests, you receive a radioactive tracer in the form of an inhalant, oral solution, or injection. This tracer travels through the area of your body being examined, giving off gamma rays, which your radiologist detects with a camera and a computer.
When is nuclear medicine useful?
Nuclear medicine is a useful tool for doctors in many different situations. Doctors usually order these tests when they want to evaluate the structure and function of a specific organ, bone, tissue, or body system. Some of the possible uses of nuclear medicine include:
- Evaluate lymph nodes
- Look for abnormalities in your brain
- Measure thyroid function
- Look for bleeding in your bowels
- Diagnose an infection
- Look for cancer in different parts of your body
- Diagnose arthritis, bone tumors, bone infections, or fractures
- Look for inflammation in your gallbladder
- Evaluate the function of your heart or kidneys
How should I prepare for nuclear medicine procedures?
The exact preparation instructions for nuclear medicine procedures depend on the specifics of the test or treatment. In some cases, you may be able to wear your own clothing. However, some patients may need to change into a hospital gown.
Before the procedure, you should tell the staff at Excel Medical Imaging about any medications you take, as well as any allergies or serious medical conditions you have. If you could be pregnant, tell a member of the staff before your procedure. To learn more about your specific preparation instructions, contact the office.
What are the advantages of nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive, allowing your radiologist to examine certain parts of your body in detail without surgery. These procedures are virtually painless, with the exception of the intravenous injection used to administer the radioactive tracer.
What are the risks of nuclear medicine procedures?
The risks of nuclear medicine procedures are relatively low. In rare cases, patients have an allergic reaction to the tracer used during the procedure. However, the staff at Excel Medical Imaging monitors you carefully throughout the procedure for any signs of a bad reaction.