What is a Nuclear Medicine scan?
Nuclear Medicine uses specialised "dyes" called radiopharmaceuiticals / tracers which are injected into a vein in the arm (similar to a blood test), to take pictures using a special camera called a gamma camera. The gamma camera can detect the location of the tracer in the body and an image is created on a computer for the specialist nuclear medicine physician to interpret.
The most common radiopharmaceuitical used is called 99mTc (Technetium). The technetium is bound to other pharmaceuticals which basically determine where the tracer will accumulate in the body. The ability for the tracer to localise to different parts of the body allow for different organs of the body to be photographed and imaged. The radiotracers used are safe and the amount of radiation a patient is exposed to from the tracer is small.
Nuclear Medicine Patient Preparation
Most Nuclear Medicine procedures do not require any special preparation, and most often the patient can continue to eat and drink normally, and continue to take any prescription medication as required. Please see the detailed information for the most common Nuclear Medicine procedures. If the study you are having does not have an information sheet, please contact Gold Coast Radiology on (07) 5514 2555.