WHAT IS NUCLEAR MEDICINE?

Nuclear Medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses radiation from radioactive tracers to produce images of the body and provide information about the function of specific organs. Scans of the heart, thyroid, lungs and kidney are common. However, the majority of scans involve the skeleton. Theseareusually carried out to diagnose infection, cancer, fractures or sports injuries.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Yes, an appointment is necessary to determine the examination required, to prepare the correct tracer, and to minimize your waiting time. The scan time depends on the examination you are having and this can vary from 1 to 6 hours. We ask if you could please call us to make an appointment or come in and arrange a suitable time.

WHO PERFORMS NUCLEAR MEDICINE?

You will be attended to by our experienced nuclear medicine technologist and nurse who will work closely with the nuclear medicine physician. The physician will then interpret the scan and forward an accurate report to your referring doctor.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING MY EXAMINATION?

At the start of the examination you will be given a radioactive tracer, most commonly by an injection into a vein in the arm. The tracer will then concentrate in the particular part of your body under investigation, allowing us to take images of the region. You will need to remove metallic objects from your body and clothing prior to the scan, and be asked to lie still on the table while it moves slowly through the scanner. You are always in our technologist’s full view and will be able to communicate with them during the test. In some cases, you may have to wait for a few hours after  the tracer is administered for the scan to be performed.

Often a 3D scan will be performed as part of your scanning procedure. This will incorporate a SPECT scan with a CT scan. These images will then be fused together giving us hybrid images with high  sensitivity and accurate localisation in anatomy.

IS IT SAFE?

The commonly used radiopharmaceuticals in nuclear medicine have a relatively short half-life and are usually eliminated from the body within 24 hours. Side effects are also extremely rare for diagnostic studies. Our technologist and doctor on site will answer any questions you might have before the study.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAMINATION?
  • Make an appointment and attend on time.
  • Ensure that you have a referral from your doctor and any old films for comparison on the day of the examination.
  • Confirm any special preparation required when making your appointment, or see the Information Sheets for your specific scan. Certain tests require different preparation,varying from fasting 6 hours prior to the scan, to being well hydrated, to no preparation at all.
  • Keep taking your medication unless advised otherwise.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to tell us prior to administration of the radioactive tracer

 

CONTACT US

Ashfield

9716 3600

Campsie

 8042 3000

Drummoyne

9911 6800

Five Dock

8705 8300

Hurstville

9598 0100

Newtown

8228 9000

North Strathfield

8282 8100

North Sydney (Mater Imaging)

9955 4466
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