What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that utilizes radioactive material (also known as radiopharmaceuticals) to detect, diagnose, and treat a wide variety of diseases or disorders. A radiopharmaceutical is a type of drug that is drawn to specific bones, organs, or soft tissues. When this material is used for an imaging exam, it's detected by certain types of cameras or radiology tests to capture pictures of internal structures to provide data on how the organs, tissues, or certain body systems are functioning. Imaging at Valley View features a highly accomplished and dedicated team who are committed to providing patient-focused care. Call our office in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to learn more.
Why is it used?
Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic tool that is used to analyze the function of the bones, organs, and biological systems of the body. It can also determine the severity of certain diseases and is used as a form of treatment or therapy. It can be helpful with the following health conditions:
- Heart disease
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Other abnormalities within the body
How do I prepare?
Before you come in for your exam, our office will provide specific instructions to help you prepare for your test. Depending on the area being examined, instructions will vary. In some cases, we may have you fast for several hours prior to your test or even drink a certain amount of water to gain a better image.
Depending on the area that is being examined, the type and dose of the radiotracer will vary. The tracer will either be injected, swallowed, or inhaled as a gas. The tracer will emit radiation, which is captured by our specialized camera equipment to create pictures for the analysis of specific functions. The length of the exam will vary for each patient.
Benefits and risks?
Even though you will be exposed to radiation, it is a very low dose, which is actually similar to the amount of radiation that you would be exposed to during a traditional X-ray exam. Nuclear medicine provides a detailed view of the internal body structures and data on biological functions to detect disease and various health concerns that can save your life. Therefore, if this mode of imaging is ordered by your provider, then it's because they believe it's the best form of treatment that may help yield optimal results for your health.
Imaging at Valley View is proud to offer modern imaging techniques and medicine to the men and women of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Nuclear medicine has been used for years and is an effective method in the diagnosis and treatment of a long list of diseases and disorders. If you are searching for a reputable imaging center, then call Imaging at Valley View in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to schedule your nuclear medicine exam as soon as possible.