What is Nuclear Medicine ?
Ans: It is a branch of medicine that uses radio-isotopes tagged with specific substances (radiopharmaceuticals)for diagnosis and therapies of clinical illnesses.
How are Nuclear Scans different from CT/ MRI Scans ?
Ans: All radiology investigations (x-ray/ USG/ MRI etc) give structural and anatomical information about the region being studied. Nuclear scans give functional information.
How are SPECT-CT Scans different from Nuclear Scans ?
Ans: The modern day SPECT-CT scanners, like the one installed at Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital (the only one in Pune City) give us functional scans along with anatomical tomography (structural) information about the region being studied.
How long do nuclear scans take ?
Ans: Being functional scans, nuclear scans can take long durations. The duration of each scan varies depending on the organ system being scanned.
Any special precautions to be taken prior to nuclear scans ?
Ans: Some nuclear scans require 3-4 hrs. fasting prior to the procedure.
In certain cases, some kind of medicines have to be stopped.
Please contact the Nuclear Medicine Department (020-66099862) a day prior to scan for relevant instructions.
Please note that Nuclear Scans are contraindicated in pregnancy.
What is the radiation risk involved in doing a Nuclear Scan ?
Ans: The radiation exposure received by a patient during a routine nuclear scan is less than that during a CT Scan Chest, these radiation exposure levels have been well studied and then protocols formulated so that there is no harm to the patient due to the procedure.
Can a woman who is breast feeding undergo a nuclear scan?
Ans: Lactating mothers can undergo nuclear scans. But they have to withhold lactation for a minimum of 24 hrs. after the procedure.
Do Nuclear scanning procedures require admission in the hospital ?
Ans: Nuclear Scans are OPD procedures and do not require getting hospitalized.
How are the radioisotopes given ? Do they cause any local burning due to the radiation ?
Ans: The radioisotopes are administered either intravenously or per orally (to drink). They do not cause any side effects like burning sensation/ fainting/ sleeping etc.
Can a person lead a normal life once the scan is over ? Should any special precautions be taken ?
Ans: The radioactivity levels used for diagnostic scan are very low.
A person can carry on his routine day to day activities after the nuclear scan. Only lactating mothers need to take special precautions.