Nuclear Scans also called Radioisotope scans or Radionuclide scans help doctors diagnose many conditions, including cancers, injuries and infections. They can also show how organs like your heart and lungs are working.
A small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein, usually in your arm. Although tracers are radioactive, the dosage is small. The injection is no more painful than a blood test.
You may then have pictures taken immediately or after a delay, depending on the type of scan you are having.
During most nuclear scanning tests, you lie still on a scanning table while the camera makes images.
The waiting time between having your injection and going in for the scan will depend on which type of scan you are having. If the wait is significant then your appointment letter will show two separate times. The scan itself will take approximately 20 to 40 minutes, again depending on which type of scan you are having.
You will not see, hear or taste anything, and you should not have any side effects after the procedure is completed.
You may be asked to drink more than usual for the rest of the day to help wash the tracer out of your body.
The amount of radiation you receive is small; it is comparable to that of an X-ray examination. The substances we inject are non-toxic and will not make you feel sick or drowsy.