General Body Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is a phenomenal diagnostic tool and we are happy to be able to provide this service to many areas that would otherwise go without it. Nuclear medicine can look at the bones and hearts but it can also look at many other general body areas. Some of the common areas are the liver, gallbladder, and common bile duct through the hepatobiliary (HIDA) scan. Another common area is looking at the stomach; known as a gastric emptying scan.

The Hepatobilary (HIDA) scan uses a radioactive tracer injected into a vein in the arm. This tracer travels through your liver, into the gallbladder and through your bile duct to your small intestine. It is also common for the physician to order this study with the use of CCK (cholecystokinin) which will cause your gallbladder to contract and empty and release bile. A HIDA scan is most often used to check for gallbladder inflammation, or cholecystitis. It can also check for bile duct issues. This test will only take about 2 hours to complete. The preparation for this test include: fasting for 6-8 hours (no food or water), and no prescription pain meds for 24 hours prior to your test. Other prep may be given to you from your physicians office or the scheduling office.

A gastric emptying study is most often ordered if you have frequent abdominal issues; some of these issues may include: weight loss, changes in blood sugar level, serious dehydration, esophagitis, malnutrition from not absorbing nutrients, and others. This is a lengthy test, as it takes about 5 hours from start to finish; however, it is a come and go test as you only have to be there for about 15 minutes of imaging every hour. The preparation for this test includes: fasting for 8 hours (no food or water), no stomach meds for 24 hours (tums, omeprazole, Prilosec etc.)

There are other types of nuclear medicine studies; however, these are amongst the most common general body scans. Some of the others that we do preform are for the lungs and renal areas. Please contact us if your are interested in more information regarding these tests.

For common questions regarding Nuclear Medicine please refer here.