Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers that are typically injected into the bloodstream, inhaled or swallowed. The radiotracer travels through the area being examined and gives off energy in the form of gamma rays which are detected by a special camera and a computer to create images of the inside of your body. Nuclear medicine imaging provides unique information that often cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures and offers the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages.
n injection of a small amount of the isotope preparation is given into a vein. It takes time for this substance to be absorbed; therefore the scan is performed approximately 15 minutes to 3 hours after the injection (depends on the scan). You will be asked to drink water between the injection and the scan.
When it is time for the scan, you do not need to undress. You will be taken to the examination room and made comfortable lying on the couch. You need to lie as still whilst each picture is taken. The gamma camera is passed over your body and this will take approximately 40 minutes.
There are no ill-effects from the injection and apart from the injection itself, you will not feel anything.
There is no special preparation for this scan.
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