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Nuclear Medicine Imaging

Trust the experts at Banner Health to help assist with your nuclear medicine imaging tests. Learn more about what a nuclear medicine test is and how Banner Health can help provide the best care during your treatment. 

What Is Nuclear Medicine?

To treat and detect diseases, your doctor may prescribe a nuclear medicine imaging test. A nuclear medicine scan utilizes radioactive tracers or materials which can be injected, swallowed or inhaled. These tracers flow through the body and can be detected with a camera to capture pictures of the potential illness or disease. 

When Is Nuclear Medicine Used?

Nuclear medicine images can be used when your doctor needs a deeper look into tissue or organs. One of the most commonly used nuclear medicine tests is a heart scan. 

Types of Nuclear Medicine Imaging Tests

Your doctor will determine what nuclear medicine test you will need. Types of nuclear medicine scans or tests include:

  • Renal Scans
  • Thyroid Scans
  • Bone Scans
  • Heart Scans
  • Brain Scans

How to Prepare for a Nuclear Medicine Scan

Preparing for a nuclear med scan test usually means no caffeine 24 hours before the test and no food or drinks 6 hours before the test. Your doctor can help advise on the medicines that you should not take before the test to ensure the results are not altered. 

What to Expect from Nuclear Medicine Imaging

During nuclear medicine, you can expect the first step to be getting the radioactive tracers into your body. Nuclear medicine tracers can be placed into the body various ways like injected directly into a vein or swallowed. Once the radioactive tracers have been placed into the body, your physician will use a camera called a gamma camera to see the affected areas. The camera can detect the radioactive tracers and then turns that into an image. This type of imaging can take anywhere from 20 minutes to hours, depending on what images need to be taken. Consult with your doctor to ensure you know what to expect.

Associated Risks

Due to the low dosage of radioactive tracer, there are no known associated risks with nuclear medicine. The nuclear medicine only stays in the body for 60 hours, meaning it is not staying in the body causing harm. Contact your doctor to learn more about associated risks with nuclear medicine. 

Where Can I Get Nuclear Medicine Tests?

You can get nuclear medicine tests at a Banner Health hospital, clinic or at select Banner Imaging locations.

The imaging team at Banner Health can answer any of your questions about nuclear medicine before, during and after the procedure. Let Banner Health take care of you. 

Find an Imaging Location Near You

Whatever your need, your doctor can refer you to one of our conveniently located free-standing imaging centers or one of our hospitals.