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Nuclear Medicine (use of radioactive dye)

What is a nuclear medicine test?

A Nuclear Medicine test uses radioactive material to make diagnostic images of the body or treat a disease. Nuclear Medicine tests are called "scans" and give your health care team information about how your organs or systems function.

Preparing for a Nuclear Medicine Scan

  • It is not necessary to stop taking your medications for most Nuclear Medicine procedures, unless directed to by your health care provider.
  • You may be required to fast prior to your scan. You will be informed by your health care provider or Horizon staff.
  • Your actual scan may be done immediately, within a few hours or, in some circumstances, a couple of days after you have been given the radioactive material.
  • Tell the technologist if there is a possibility that you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
  • Nuclear Medicine scans are safe for infants and children.

Risks or Complications

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Reactions to radioactive material are not common

How long will a Nuclear Medicine scan take?

The actual scan may take a few minutes to 2 hours depending on the scan.

After your procedure

  • You are encouraged to drink lots of fluids.
  • If you will be crossing an international border after your scan (i.e. USA), please inform the technologist. You will be given a letter identifying that you have received a dose of a radioactive material. Border crossings detection systems may pick up the residual radioactivity in your body up to a few months after your procedure.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you may have to stop for a few hours or permanently stop depending on the type of radioactive material used for your scan.

Facilities and programs offering this service:


Facilities and programs offering this service:
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