A beaker being filled with a substance.

Centers & Medical Services

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine refers to procedures that use a safe amount of radioactive material to diagnose medical issues or treat disease. Nuclear medicine allows doctors and specialists to see inside the body of the patient and make informed decisions about their health and any needed treatment. These procedures are safe and only expose patients to the same amount of radiation as a traditional x-ray.

Nuclear Medicine refers to procedures that use a safe amount of radioactive material to aid physicians in accurately diagnosing patient conditions. Nuclear Medicine is a specialty that performs organ imaging based on body function in which the radioactive material is absorbed and excreted by the various organs of the body.

How to prepare for your exam:

Please bring a list of your current medications to your appointment. If you don’t have a list then you can bring the medications, and the technologist will write them down.

There are a few exams that require that you be fasting prior to procedure. This will be communicated to you at the time your appointment is scheduled. There are various exams that are 2 and 3 part procedures. If this is the case, you will be administered a small amount of radioactive material, either by mouth or in the form of an injection, and then you will be asked to return after a delay from the time the material was administered. In some instances, you may be asked to return the following day as well.

What to expect when you arrive for your appointment:

  • Allergic reactions to the radioactive materials are extremely rare.
  • All Nuclear Medicine Exams are performed at the ECRMC Hospital Campus
  • Once you have registered for your exam, you will take your paperwork to the Medical Imaging reception desk. The receptionist will order your exam and notify the Nuclear Medicine technologist.
  • The technologist will explain the procedure to you. Since you will be administered radioactive material for the procedure, you will be detectably radioactive for a designated amount of time when passing through any immigration check points. The technologist will provide you with a card to be presented to the immigration officer in the event that radiation is detected. The card will indicate how long you will be radioactive as well as the type of radiation used for your procedure.
  • Please advise the technologist if you are pregnant or breast feeding, prior to receiving radioactive material.

If you have any questions or concerns about you scheduled appointment, please call the Nuclear Medicine department directly at (760)339-7244 to speak to the technologist.