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A nuclear medicine scan, you receive a small amount of a radioactive tracer material, known as a radiopharmaceutical. A camera scans your body to see how the material was absorbed. Nuclear medical exams are often used to detect and monitor many types of cancer, bone maladies, and lung scans. MDI Hospital’s imaging team also has the experience and software to overlay nuclear scan images with other types of medical images, such as CT or x-rays to provide an additional level of detail.
What to expect
Some nuclear medicine scans may require you to come in for administration of the tracer and then return later that day for the scan. Some exams may require fasting prior to the exam while others may not. You will be provided with specific instructions at the time your appointment is made. The tracer material will pass from your body naturally, typically within 24 hours.
While it is true that you will be administer a small dose of radioactive elements, the dose is very small and results in minimal radiation exposure. The technology has been in use for more than 50 years and there are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exposure.