Nuclear Medicine Gamma camera imaging

Nuclear Medicine imaging allows us to take pictures of an organ or disease using radio tracers that are selected based on their ability to localise in specific organs

What preparation is needed?

Depending on what scan you’re having there might be some preparation required. All instructions will be on your appointment letter – please read it carefully.

What happens when I come for a scan?

Depending on what scan you’re having the radiopharmaceutical will be administered in a variety of ways, including intravenous injection, ingestion or inhalation.

Once the radiopharmaceutical has been administered you will need to wait until it has been given time to accumulate in the area of interest. The amount of time will vary depending on the test being performed, but can range from a few minutes up to several days.

What happens afterwards?

Once the scan is completed you will be able to leave the department immediately. You will be able to eat and drink what you like and go anywhere you wish but you should avoid prolonged close contact with children for the rest of the day to avoid exposing children to unnecessary radiation.

The tracer that we inject will not produce any side effects. You can continue with your usual daily activities, it will not make you drowsy and will not prevent you from driving a car.

When will I know the results?

Although the radiographer/technologist can see parts of your body on the screen, the images must be carefully interpreted by a Radiologist/Nuclear Medicine physician who is an expert in this field.

He or she will prepare a report and send it to your doctor within 24 hours of completion. Your doctor will tell you the results and discuss them with you.

What if I can’t keep my Nuclear Medicine appointment?

If you can’t keep your appointment, please contact the Nuclear Medicine department straight away on 020 8661 3762 (Sutton) or 020 7808 8537 (Chelsea).

If you are admitted to hospital before your appointment, please tell the ward staff that you have a Nuclear Medicine appointment booked.

Where can I get help?

The staff in the Nuclear Medicine department will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please ask at the time of your appointment or call the department at any time on the numbers above.