What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear Medicine is a specialty field within radiology that uses a small amount of radioactive material to look at the structure and function of most parts of the body. The procedures are non-invasive and require no anesthesia. The radioactive material is either injected, swallowed or inhaled.
Is the radiation dangerous to me or others?
Due to the low amount of radioactivity, the type of radiation given off by the material, and the short radioactive half-life, there is very little radiation exposure. For most studies the amount is often times compared to that of a chest x-ray. If you are not pregnant or breastfeeding, you should have no concerns about radiation exposure to you or others with the studies performed by Nuclear Sonics. There are risks that must be evaluated for women who may be pregnant or breastfeeding. Please inform either the Radiology Department or the ordering provider if there is a chance of pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
Are there any side effects?
The radioactive material should cause no side effects, although there is a slight chance with the most likely side effect being a rash. A few of the procedures use other materials that may cause some side effects. These will be explained to you prior to the exam.
Will my claustrophobia bother me?
Very rarely do people have problems with claustrophobia. In extreme cases, a physician may prescribe a medication to help you get through the exam.
When is my test?
Nuclear Sonics is at the hospital/clinic on a specific day each week. You will be contacted the day before the exam with the time of the exam.
What should I expect on the day of the exam?
When you arrive at the hospital, check in at the Registration desk. When you register, your personal information and insurance will be updated. Once checked in, you will be directed to the waiting room, where the Nuclear Medicine Technologist will meet you. At that time, the Nuclear Medicine Technologist will escort you to the exam room or outside to the imaging truck. Unless the patient is a young child, no friends or family will be allowed in the imaging truck.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact the hospital/clinic by 5pm, the business day before your exam. Patients are generally held responsible for the cost of the radioactive material used for the test if the exam is not cancelled by that time.
Note to Nuclear Medicine Patients
Please remember that your healthcare provider makes the ultimate decision on the prep for the studies he/she orders. If you are concerned about a discrepancy with any information provided here and the instructions from your provider, please verify the instructions with your provider.