Is Nuclear Medicine safe? I've heard that radioactive things are harmful?

Yes. Nuclear Medicine is safe. The amount of radiation you get having one of our scans is similar to having x-rays or a CT scan.

Will the scan hurt?

No the scan is completely painless. The injection is no more painful than having a blood test.

What does the equipment look like?

The gamma camera is composed of radiation detectors, called gamma camera heads, which are encased in metal and plastic and most often shaped like a box, attached to a round circular donut shaped gantry.SPECT involves the rotation of the gamma camera heads around the patient's body to produce more detailed, three-dimensional images.

A PET scanner is a large machine with a round, doughnut shaped hole in the middle, similar to a CT or MRI unit. Within this machine are multiple rings of detectors that record the emission of radiation from the tracer in your body.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

No special preparation is required for scans involving the bones, inflammatory, lymphatic, brain, renal and pulmonary systems. Certain drug allergies should be noted for brain scans using Diamox.
Scans involving the gastrointestinal system and PET/CT require fasting at least 4 hours. Some scans require pre-medication as a preparation.

Cardiac exams involve fasting for at least 4 hours before the exam and stress test require no coffee and tea for 24 hours prior to the scan.

Thyroid scans may require cessation of certain medications prior to the scan.

What happens during a PET CT scan?

After reviewing your clinical history, an intravenous cannula will be inserted to enable the injections. We will give radioactive tracer injection. After receiving the injection you will need to rest for 60 to 90 minutes while the injection is absorbed into your body.In the scanning room, you will be asked to lie down on your back on the scanning bed.The bed will move through the ring of the scanner followed by contrast injection and collect images for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of scan.

Are there any adverse reactions to the injection?

No. The tracers we use have not been known to have any adverse reactions.

Do I have to change into a gown for the scan?

For many of our scans you can remain in the clothes you are wearing. All that is required is you remove jewellery and empty your pockets. For some scans, such as those looking at your heart and PET/CT scans, we will need you to change into a hospital gown.

Is it safe to drive afterwards?


Can I bring a friend, relative or carer with me?

We would welcome this as long as they are not young children or a pregnant woman.

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