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Nuclear Medicine is a type of radiology imaging that uses radioactive materials to view images of the body’s physiology.These procedures are typically noninvasive and painless and administered via an intravenous injection or an oral administration of the radioactive materials. Depending on the study, the procedure can range from 20 to 30 minutes to a few hours. In some cases, multiple day studies in which the patient leaves and returns at specific times are necessary. The radiation from the pharmaceuticals is generally very minimal.
Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that uses small amounts of radioactive materials, known as radiopharmaceuticals, for diagnostic, therapeutic, and research purposes. Highly simplified, a typical procedure would involve discussing the procedure with the patient, injecting the radiopharmaceutical which localizes in the area of interest, then is imaged using a special camera. It is something like taking an X-ray from the inside-out and often has been described as making your “insides” glow.
Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, is a medical diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves to produce an image. Ultrasound is used to evaluate many different organs including the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and blood vessels. Ultrasound can also be used to help guide biopsies.
X-ray is radiation in small amounts that is projected through the target area of the body to take images of internal organs and bones. High energy electromagnetic wave act as a photograph and are used in diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease. X-rays are used for many purposes, such as determining if a bone is broken, seeing internal organs and looking for cancer. In some instances, a chemical, known as a contrast medium, is given to help outline a specific body area the images.
Stringfellow Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (given either orally or intravenously) to examine an organ’s structure and metabolic function, and is used to:
- Scan organs for abnormalities
- Evaluate the spread of cancer
- Locate infection
- Identify blood clots in the lungs
Sophisticated scanning technology
Stringfellow Memorial’s nuclear medicine technologists utilize advanced technology that delivers results quickly so doctors can begin treatment as soon as possible. We offer a wide range of diagnostic imaging services, including:
- Brain scans
- Breast scans
- Heart scans, including myocardial perfusion scans
- Red cell mass studies, to diagnose blood diseases or evaluate blood loss
- Renal scans, to examine kidney function
- Thyroid uptake scans
- Tumor imaging
- Whole-body bone scans
Ultrasound (or sonography) uses reflected sound waves to create real-time images of soft tissues, including muscles, blood vessels and organs. Because sound waves are used, there is no radiation exposure during this procedure.
Although most commonly used to examine the fetus during pregnancy, it is also an effective tool for monitoring blood flow using Doppler ultrasound technology. Stringfellow Memorial offers 4-D ultrasound imaging, which provides a 3-D picture in real time. Ultrasound can be used to discover abnormalities in organs, and detect narrowed arteries, clotted veins, or growths such as tumors and cysts.
Stringfellow Memorial offers a variety of ultrasound procedures, including:
- Obstetric and breast ultrasound exams
- Ultrasound-guided biopsies of the breast, kidney, liver and thyroid
- Paracentesis and thorocentesis
X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs on film or digital media. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-ray technology is used in many types of diagnostic procedures, such as arteriograms, computed tomography (CT) scans and fluoroscopy.
How X-rays work
During an X-ray, different parts of the body allow varying amounts of X-ray beams to pass through:
- Soft tissues in the body (such as blood, skin, fat and muscle) allow most of the X-ray to pass through and appear dark gray on the film or digital media.
- A bone or a tumor, which is denser than soft tissue, allows only a few of the X-rays to pass through and appears white on the X-ray. At a break in a bone, the X-ray beam passes through the broken area and appears as a dark line in the white bone.