Nuclear medicine shows your medical team how your body looks and functions. It can help detect: stress fractures, thyroid diseases, gallbladder problems, blood clots in the lungs, infection in the bone, kidney function, or different types of cancer. Nuclear medicine also can help doctors during surgery or to treat some diseases.
In nuclear medicine, patients receive a radioactive tracer, typically through an I.V. The tracer goes to a certain part of your body and gives off a signal so that a camera can show how your body is working. The amount of radiation used is minimal – about the same amount as an X-ray.
Redwood Area Hospital partners with Central Minnesota Heart Center at St. Cloud Hospital – Centra Care Health System to provide Mobile Nuclear Medicine on site at the hospital. This partnership provides the latest technology for advanced imaging capabilities.
Exam preparation: Preparation for your Nuclear Medicine scan will depend on the type of exam; your referring medical provider will give you specific instructions. You may be asked not to eat or drink before your appointment.
Notify a member of the imaging staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.
During the exam: During the exam you will receive a radioactive substance, or tracer, given by IV, mouth or breathed in. The radioactive substance has no side effects and the scan is painless. Most scans last ½ to 2 hours.
After your exam: Drinking extra water will help remove the radioactive tracer more quickly. After the scan, the results will be reviewed by a radiologist at and shared with your doctor who will give you the results of the test.