Nuclear Medicine

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine relies on the use of radioactive tracers to diagnose and treat diseases. The radioactive tracer goes to the part of the body or type of tissue that needs to be imaged. Tracers are given in different ways depending on the study. 

These cameras may move across the body, rotate around the body or remain still. The camera may travel close to the body to improve image quality, but will not touch the patient.

Prior to the exam:

The camera scans for the radioactive tracer. The type of exam will determine if the imaging occurs immediately, a few hours, or up to a few days, after the tracer is given.

The amount of time to perform the exam depends on the type of exam ordered.  Some of the different types of nuclear medicine exams include: 

On average, it takes one hour to complete the exam. Your child will need to hold still for the exam. The patient may watch a DVD or listen to a CD during the exam. You may bring one from home or choose one from our selection.

If the patient is scheduled with anesthesia or sedation, a nurse will contact you with preparation instructions. These instructions must be followed carefully.

If the patient is not scheduled with anesthesia or sedation (most are not), there may be preparation instructions for the specific type of exam.  This information will be provided during the scheduling process.

Nuclear Medicine Staff

When you arrive:

You will need to check in and register at the Imaging Registration on the first floor of the Benjamin Russell Hospital building unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

Once the registration process is completed, a technologist will greet you and escort you to the Nuclear Medicine exam room.

After the exam:

 If your child did not receive anesthesia or sedation there are no special instructions.

If your child did receive anesthesia or sedation, follow any instructions given by the nurse upon completion of this procedure.

Test Results:

The images from your child's exam are interpreted by a pediatric radiologist and a report is sent to your physician's office.

If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 205-638-9730.

Question or concern about your child’s exam?