Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that uses safe, painless, and cost-effective techniques both to image the body and also to treat disease. Most organ systems can be imaged and treated by nuclear medicine techniques and we have a choice of nearly 100 procedures, which are used by many Departments - from Children's Services to Cardiology
Benefits of Nuclear medicine examinations:
Nuclear medicine examinations offer information that is unique including details on both function and structure and often unattainable using other imaging procedures.
Nuclear medicine is less expensive and gives more precise information than exploratory surgery
Nuclear medicine offers the potential to identify disease in its earliest stage.
PET/CT scans are performed to determine whether a cancer has spread in the body and to determine blood flow to the heart muscle...
Nuclear medicine scans provide information about various organ functions by imaging the concentration of specially formulated radioactive chemical compounds in selected parts of the body .These compounds, or radioisotopes, are administered to patients by trained technologists in small amounts in order to evaluate for functional abnormalities in bone, liver, lungs, heart, brain, kidneys and the endocrine system.
Nuclear medicine exams include: ventilation and perfusion (V/Q) scan for showing blood flow and air movement in the lungs; stress perfusion scan for assessing coronary artery blood flow and cardiac muscle damage; bone scan and PET scan for detecting the spread of cancer; liver, spleen, gallbladder; and kidney scan to evaluate organ function; thyroid scan to visualize activity of the thyroid gland; and scans of the gastrointestinal system to identify active bleeding sites.
Procedure and patient preparation:
For a nuclear medicine exam, the patient is given a small amount of radioisotope, either orally or by injection, to enhance the visualization of selected organs or vascular structures. Once the radioisotope has accumulated in the region of the body under study, the technologist positions a camera close to the region and begins the scanning process. The images are viewed on a computer monitor after the examination by a specially trained physician who will communicate the results to your own doctor.
Several dozen types of studies are performed in the Nuclear Medicine section; the required patient preparation varies from study to study. Patients are urged to consult their own physician or the nuclear medicine section regarding any necessary preparation prior to their procedure.
As with any radiological procedure, pregnant women should consult with their physician before undergoing a nuclear medicine exam. Generally, nuclear medicine scans are not performed on pregnant women. Nursing mothers as well as patients taking medication are also advised to inform their physician.