DeKalb Medical performs a variety of inpatient and outpatient diagnostic procedures using nuclear medicine in Atlanta. Nuclear medicine procedures use very small amounts of radioactive materials and a special imaging machine to create and display a picture showing the condition of bone or other body organs. The nuclear medicine procedure is safe and painless. The radioactive material is introduced into your body orally or through an injection, and disappears from your system in one to two days. The nuclear medicine exams are useful in viewing the function of the bone, gallbladder, heart, liver or thyroid.
The most common exams that are performed in nuclear medicine in Atlanta at DeKalb Medical are:
Biliary Studies — to assess the function of the gallbladder.
Bone Scans — used to detect bone growth, fractures, tumors, infection of the bone and its blood supply.
Renal Studies — used to assess the anatomy, function and blood supply to the kidney.
Thyroid Studies — to examine the function of the thyroid gland which may be over or under active or enlarged.
Cardiac Studies — used to assess the blood flow to the heart and check for coronary artery disease.
Another type of nuclear medicine in Atlanta at DeKalb Medical involves a nuclear stress test, which may be performed to measure blood flow to your heart muscle at rest and during stress. This nuclear medicine test is performed similar to a routine exercise stress test but provides images in addition to electrocardiograms. This nuclear medicine test usually includes a heart scan, injection of the radioactive material while you are exercising and another scan one to two hours after exercise.
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images from your nuclear medicine test and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician. Your primary care or referring physician will share the results of your nuclear medicine test with you.
You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your nuclear medicine procedure. There are different preparation instructions depending on the type of scan you are having. You will be given specific instructions on what to do to prepare for your scan when your procedure is scheduled. The following general information will help you understand what to expect during your nuclear medicine procedure.
The first step in having a nuclear medicine procedure is for a radioactive isotope to be introduced into your body. This may be done in several ways:
Based on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are having, a certain period of time must pass after the isotope has gotten into your body. This is usually a few hours, although it can be one day for some exams. There are no side effects from the radioactive material that is in your body, and it is safe to be around other people.
You then will be taken into the exam room and asked to lie on a padded table that is guided under the camera. The technologist will position you to obtain a series of images. It is very important that you are completely still so the camera can obtain quality images for interpretation.
The average imaging time is usually less than one hour, although some nuclear medicine tests require more than an hour and, in some cases, more than one visit.
As soon as the images have been reviewed by the technologist for quality you can leave and resume your normal activities and diet as directed by your physician.
The radiologist who performed your nuclear medicine procedure will advise your physician as to the finding of the test. Your physician will follow up with you about the results of your nuclear medicine procedure.
Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your nuclear medicine procedure for you. If your physician has placed the medical orders for your specific procedure, you can call 404.501.2660 to schedule your procedure at your convenience.
If your procedure is at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, go to the hospital’s central registration area.
If your nuclear medicine procedure will be performed at the Imaging Center at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur,
If your procedure is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.