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Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty that is used to diagnose
and treat diseases in a safe and painless way. Nuclear
medicine procedures permit the determination of medical information
that might otherwise be unavailable, require surgery, or
necessitate more expensive and invasive diagnostic tests.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures often identify abnormalities
very early in the progress of a disease-long before many medical
problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. This early
detection allows a disease to be treated sooner in its course when
a more successful prognosis may be possible.
Radiopharmaceuticals are introduced to the patient's body by
injection, inhalation, or swallowing. The pharmaceutical part
of the radiopharmaceutical is designed to go to a specific place in
the body. The radioactive part of the pharmaceutical emits
radiation known as gamma rays and is detected using a special
camera known as a gamma camera. During the exam the patient
is often asked to lie on the bed while the gamma camera is placed
close to the patient's body.
Scans are used to diagnose many medical conditions and diseases.
Some of the more common tests include the following:
- Heart scans - used to identify abnormal blood
flow to the heart, to determine the extent of the damage of the
heart muscle after a heart attack, and/or to measure heart
- Renal scans - used to examine the kidneys and
to detect any abnormalities, such as tumors or obstruction of the
renal blood flow.
- Thyroid scans - used to evaluate thyroid
- Bone scans - used to evaluate any degenerative
and/or arthritic changes in the joints, to detect bone diseases and
tumors, and/or to determine the cause of bone pain or
- Biliary scans - used to evaluate biliary and
- Gallium scans - used to diagnose active
infectious and/or inflammatory diseases, tumors, and
- Brain scans - used to investigate problems
within the brain and/or in the blood circulation to the brain.
- Breast scans - often used with mammograms to
locate cancerous tissue in the breast.
Nuclear Medicine is also involved in the treatment of disease
such as thyroid disease, blood diseases, certain types of cancers,
and bone pain as a result of cancer.
Where to go.
For information on where to go when you arrive for your
appointment, visit our Where
to Go page.
For additional information about
Diagnostic Imaging services at Lourdes, call