What to Expect: Nuclear Medicine Test | Cedars-Sinai


Hello and thank you for choosing
Cedars-Sinai your doctor has ordered a nuclear medicine test. This video will
let you know what to expect and how to get ready for your exam. Nuclear medicine
tests use radioactive substances called tracers that help your doctor see how
organs in your body are working. The radioactivity you’re exposed to during a
nuclear medicine test is very low and will not hurt you. The information the
test gives your doctor far outweighs this small exposure to radiation. You
will receive your tracer either in your hospital room or in the imaging
Department depending on the type of test you are having. Most tracers are put in
through an IV. If you receive your tracer in another way, your nurse doctor or a
member of the nuclear medicine staff will let you know. Most nuclear medicine
scans don’t require any special preparation but there are a few
exceptions. For example, if you are having a PET CT scan you’ll be placed in a
special low carbohydrate diet. Your nurse or doctor will explain how to get ready
for other tests that may need special preparations. Now let’s take a look at
what you can expect during your test. Your nuclear medicine test will be done
at the Taper Imaging Department here at Cedars-Sinai. About 30 minutes before
your test an imaging transporter will come to your room to take you to imaging.
If you can you should go to the bathroom before you leave your room. Any devices
used for your care such as an IV, heart monitor, and oxygen will either be
supplied or be brought with you. The transporter will check you in at the pre
scan area. For your safety you will be asked the same questions a few times by
different members of the imaging staff. Patients with heart monitors will still
be monitored. We will give you a call light in case you need help.
We do many types of scans and imaging and you may see people come after you
and leave before you. Don’t worry we didn’t forget about you.These patients
may be having an imaging procedure that is different from yours or it may be an
emergency situation. We will do our best to keep you from waiting but delays can
happen. For patients having PET scans the
radioactive tracer will be given in the imaging Department. These patients will
wait 60 to 90 minutes for the tracer to get to the areas of the body that need
to be examined. During that time period most patients having this scan will be
moved to a quiet area where they will be monitored. A member of the imaging staff
will move you to your exam room when it’s time for your test. In your exam
room your nuclear medicine technologist will explain your exam to you and ask
you a few questions. A special nuclear medicine camera or
scanner will take pictures of your body. These do not produce any radiation. The
pictures help us detect and record the radioactive material in your body which
helps the doctors see how your organs are working. The scan time for most
nuclear medicine tests lasts from 1 to 4 hours. Some tests require scans for one
hour over the course of 2 to 3 days. When your exam is complete your technologist
will not be able to give you the results. Your exam must first be read by a
specialized imaging doctor. The information will then be sent to your
doctor who will talk to you about the results and use them to help you with
your treatment. After your exam, you will be moved to the post scan area before
the transporter takes you back to your room. We hope this video has been helpful
to you. If you have any other questions please ask a member of the imaging team.
Thanks for watching

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