Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses very small amounts of radiopharmaceuticals to assess bodily functions to diagnose and treat disease more precisely.

Nuclear medicine tests can pick up conditions that X-rays or other imaging tests may miss, and the benefits of nuclear medicine procedure far outweigh the minimal risks. Typically patients have to leave town for this type of test, now they are able to stay close to home and receive this advanced technology.

Nuclear medicine is used to perform studies for the following: Bone diseases including fractures, infection, and cancer; lymphoscintigraphy (melanoma or breast cancer), lungs, liver/spleen, gallbladder, bile ducts, gastrointestinal, coronary artery disease, stress tests, thyroid uptake, parathyroid glands, and renal (kidney) scans are also available.

Scans can range from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the type of test being performed. Before the test, patients will receive a radioisotope through injection. This will help highlight the area the doctor needs to image. During the scan, a patient is exposed to only a minute amount of radiation. All traces of the radioisotope will leave the patient’s system in 12 to 24 hours. Children can also safely undergo a nuclear medicine procedure.

Nuclear medicine is in the former lab space, across from outpatient registration. The room has been divided and completely remodeled for this new service, partly due to a generous donation by GMC Auxiliary.

Nuclear medicine requires preauthorization by a provider. Patients can set up an appointment with a GMC provider by calling 406-345-8901.