Nuclear Medicine Specialists in Mobile, AL

What Is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine, or nuclear scan, uses a small amount of a radioactive substance to produce two or three-dimensional images of body anatomy and function. The diagnostic images produced by a nuclear scan are used to evaluate a variety of diseases. Sometimes a nuclear scan is combined with a CT scan.

The board-certified radiologists at Alabama Coastal Radiology, P.C. provide expert diagnostic imaging services to patients all across Mobile, Alabama, and its surrounding areas. Learn more about what to expect during a nuclear scan at any of our eight radiology clinics in the Mobile area when you call your preferred location today. We have offices in Mobile, Saraland, Fairhope, Daphne, and Bay Minette, AL.

What Are Some Common Uses of Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine images can assist the physician in viewing, monitoring, or diagnosing:

  • Tumors
  • Blood flow and function of the heart
  • Respiratory and blood-flow problems in the lungs
  • Organ function – of the kidney, bowel, gallbladder, and others

How Should I Prepare for My Scan?

Usually, no special preparation is needed. However, if the exam is done to evaluate the stomach, you may be asked to refrain from eating immediately before the test. If the exam is done to evaluate the kidneys, you may need to drink plenty of water before the test.

What Should I Expect During the Exam?

Although imaging time can vary, the exam generally takes 20 to 45 minutes.

  • A radiopharmaceutical, known as a tracer, is usually administered either intravenously or by mouth. What radiopharmaceutical is used and when the imaging will be done – immediately, a few hours later, or even several days after the injection, is dependent upon the type of exam you’re having.
  • For most nuclear scans, you will lie down on a table and a nuclear imaging camera will be used to capture the image of the area being examined. The camera is either suspended over or below the exam table or in a large donut-shaped machine similar to a CT scanner. While the images are being obtained, you must remain as still as possible.
  • Most of the radioactivity is expelled out of your body in urine or stool. The rest simply disappears through over time.

What Will I Experience During the Procedure?

Although usually done with a small needle, some patients experience some minor discomfort from the intravenous injection, or IV. Also, lying still on the examining table may be uncomfortable for some patients. You will hear low-level clicking or buzzing noises from the machine.

More on Nuclear Medicine with Alabama Coastal Radiology, P.C.

For more information on nuclear medicine, contact Alabama Coastal Radiology, P.C. today by calling your preferred location directly. Our diagnostic radiologists are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology and have extensive nuclear medicine experience. We perform diagnostic testing throughout Alabama including in Mobile, Daphne, Saraland, Bay Minette, and Fairhope.

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