Nuclear Medicine

Highly sensitive nuclear medicine examinations can yield a great deal of information regarding suspected conditions with little or no risk to the patient.  The nature of nuclear medicine scans mean that they show up any area of increased metabolic activity, so that an injury can be identified and can be determined whether it is new or old.  Nuclear Medicine scans can also show how organs are functioning, based on their ‘uptake’ of iodine.  This is particularly helpful in the diagnosis of thyroid and parathyroid functional disorders. Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotopes to produce images

Nuclear Medicine Thyroid Scan

Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotopes to produce images which monitor the function of your thyroid. This scan can be used to diagnose over active or under active thyroid and characterise the nature of small nodules or lumps on the thyroid.

What to expect

You will be given an injection containing a small amount of radioactive tracer which will allow your organ function to be visualised on images. The test is usually performed with you lying on a scanner table on your back. A number of images will be taken. A gamma camera is used to take images. No radiation is emitted from the camera, but rather it detects the radiation emitting from your body. The camera will move over your body and may move around your body to produce images, but it will not touch you. The radiation will leave your body during the 24 hours following your examination.

Preparation

You will be asked of any other imaging you have had recently. It is important you have not had a CT scan in the 8 weeks prior to your scan. You may be required to cease some thyroid medications. Please take a list of your current medications / supplements with you. Further information will be given to you at the time of booking.

Time required

This procedure will take approximately 35-45 minutes.

Will I need an injection?

You will be given an injection of radiotracer

Risks

There are no side effects from this test. If you are breast feeding you may be advised to take particular precautions following the examination. This scan is not suitable for pregnant women

Nuclear Medicine Renal Scan

Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotopes to produce images which monitor the function of your kidneys and drainage system. This scan can be used to diagnose areas of damage or obstruction or detect a renal cause for hypertension.

What to expect

You will be given an injection containing a small amount of a radioactive tracer which will allow your organ function to be visualised on images. You may also be given an injection of a diuretic. The test is usually performed with you lying on a scanner table on your back. A number of image series will be taken. A gamma camera is used to take images. No radiation is emitted from the camera, but rather it detects the radiation emitting from your body. The camera will move over your body and may move around your body to produce images, but it will not touch you. The radiation will leave your body during the 24 hours following your examination.

Preparation

You will be required to be well hydrated for a renal scan. Information regarding preparation will be given to you at time of booking. Please advise us if you are diabetic, pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medications at the time of booking.

Time required

This procedure will take approximately 35–60 minutes

Will I need an injection?

You will be given an injection of radiotracer and you may also receive an injection of diuretic

Risks

There are no side effects from this test. If you are breast feeding you may be advised to take particular precautions following the examination. This scan is not suitable for pregnant women.

Nuclear Medicine Gastric Emptying Scan

Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotopes to produce images which monitor the behaviour of the food in your stomach into your intestines. This scan can be used to diagnose reasons for ongoing nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea after a meal.

What to expect

You will be asked to eat a small meal which contains a radioactive tracer. The tracer shows up on the images so the food can be traced through your digestive system. A series of images will be taken of this process for analysis. The test is usually performed with you lying on a scanner table on your back. A gamma camera is used to take images. No radiation is emitted from the camera, but rather it detects the radiation emitting from your body. The camera will move over your body and may move around your body to produce images, but it will not touch you. The radiation will leave your body during the 12 hours following your examination.

Preparation

You will be required to fast for this examination. Information regarding preparation will be given to you at time of booking. Please advise us if you are diabetic, pregnant or taking medications at the time of booking. You may be required to cease some medications prior to scan.

Time required

This procedure will take approximately 1.5-2 hours.

Will I need an injection?

No, you will not require an injection for this scan.

Risks

There are no side effects from this test. If you are breast feeding you may be advised to take particular precautions following the examination. This scan is not suitable for pregnant women.

Nuclear Medicine Lung Scan

Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotopes to produce images and is a very sensitive for detecting blood clots in the lungs. Lung scans are considered an urgent appointment and should be done on the same day as the doctor has requested it.

What to expect

You will be asked to inhale a gas which contains a small amount of radioactive tracer. This will then show the airflow to your lungs. Following this you will be given an injection containing another tracer which will show the blood flood to your lungs on images. The test is usually performed with you lying on a scanner table on your back. The camera will move over your body and may move around your body to produce 3D images, but it will not touch you. The radiation will leave your body during the 24 hours following your examination.

Preparation

There is no preparation required for this scan.

Time required

This procedure will take approximately 60 minutes.

Will I need an injection?

You will receive a small injection of tracer into your arm for this procedure.

Risks

There are no side effects from this test. If you are breast feeding you may be advised to take particular precautions following the examination.

Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan

Nuclear Medicine uses radioactive isotopes to produce images to evaluate damage to bones or other causes of unexplained bone pain.

What to expect

This scan requires two appointments on the same day. During the first appointment you will be given an injection which contains a small amount of radioactive tracer. This tracer will be attracted to bones which are under repair. When an image is taken, these areas will show up as spots of high intensity on the image. A gamma camera is used to take images. No radiation is emitted from the camera, but rather it detects the small amount of radiation emitting from your body. Images may be taken during the first appointment, and you will then be asked to return for further imaging after 3-4 hours. The camera will move over your body and may move around your body to produce 3D images, but it will not touch you. The radiation will leave your body during the 24 hours following your examination.

Preparation

There is no preparation required for this examination.

Time required

This procedure will take approximately 5 hours.

Will I need an injection?

You will receive a small injection of tracer into your arm for this procedure.

Risks

There are no side effects from this test. If you are breast feeding you may be advised to take particular precautions following the examination. This scan is not suitable for pregnant women.

  • Regional
    Wagga Wagga

    Wagga Specialist Medical Centre
    Level 1, Suite 14, 325 Edward Street
    WAGGA WAGGA NSW 2650
    P 02 6971 6100
    F 02 6971 6188
    imagingassociateswaggawagga.net.au