Nuclear Medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to examine organ function and structure. The extent to which a radiopharmaceutical is absorbed by a particular organ or tissue may indicate the function level of that organ or tissue.
Common Nuclear Medicine Studies
- Bone Scan: This is a functional test which visually detects bone abnormalities by measuring an aspect of bone metabolism. You will receive an injection, experience a 2–3 hour waiting period, then undergo the examination.
- Gastric Emptying: During this test you will eat food containing a radioisotope which will be detected on a scan. The dosage of radiation from the radioisotope is very small and not harmful, and allows the radiologist to see the food in the stomach and how quickly it leaves the stomach.
- HIDA (Hepatobiliary): This study assesses the liver, gallbladder and biliary function. It is commonly used to diagnose abnormal gallbladder function and examines the ducts leading into and out of the gallbladder. You may receive a morphine injection. If so, you will need to arrange for transportation from your appointment.
You may receive a call from us to review your medical history to determine that no issues exist preventing you from having a nuclear medicine procedure. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please provide 24 hours notice.
We ask that you call at least 3 days ahead if you believe you may be pregnant so we may make the appropriate modifications to your treatment plan.
Instructions for the Day of Your Procedure
- Please arrive on time. Allow extra time in your trip for weather, traffic and parking.
- Remove and leave all jewelry and/or metal at home.
- Leave valuables at home.
- Bring your insurance card and photo ID.
- All parents/guardians having an imaging study must be aware that there is no supervision available for children. Please do not have children accompany you to your appointment.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
- You may eat and drink immediately following your scan.
- We advise that you wait 3 hours before getting very close to children, pregnant women or pets. This will allow time for the radioactivity to leave your body. (The exceptions are thyroid iodine treatments, which require approximately 3 days before close contact with the above parties.)
- Your results will be sent to your referring physician within 2 business days. Please contact your physician.
- If you have a MyChart account, your results will be posted in 14 days.
Nuclear medicine is performed at the following locations:
- Auburn Community Hospital
- East River Road
- FF Thompson Hospital
- Golisano Children's Hospital
- Highland Hospital
- Noyes Memorial Hospital
- St. James Hospital
- Strong West