What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic test that uses a small amount of radioactive material, called isotopes, and a special camera, which measures radioactivity in the form of images. Nuclear medicine is a broad term that describes a variety of tests used to detect abnormalities of the thyroid, lungs, heart, liver and bones. It is also used to treat some forms of disease such as thyroid disease.
What Are Isotopes?
They have been specifically formulated for human use and the amount needed is very small. The isotope used for the exam is specific to the area of your body being examined and travels through the bloodstream to the target organ. Once the isotope has moved to the target area of the body, pictures are taken with a special camera. The isotope is eliminated from your body within one to two days.
How Do Isotopes Work?
Isotopes are administered by mouth in a capsule form, or through an injection in your vein. You are then required to wait for a specified amount of time before the scan can begin. This is because the isotopes take time to work their way through your system and become concentrated in the area to be examined.
Preparing for Your Test
Before your test you will be given specific instructions by your physician's office or this center.
You will also need to tell the doctor or technologist:
- If you are pregnant, think you might be or if
you are breast feeding
- If you have any history of allergies
- If you have had previous nuclear medicine
scans or radiation therapy
Scheduling Your Test
Park Plaza Hospital's Centralized Scheduling Department will schedule your appointment and obtain any necessary pre-authorizations. They will also let you know about any financial obligations for which you may be responsible. The Centralized Scheduling department is available to schedule your test
Monday through Friday from 7:30am until 5:00pm. Their phone number is 713-527-3500.
Your physician or our medical staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning your test.
Please notify us immediately, 24 hours in advance if possible, if you are unable to keep an appointment.