Before your appointment
There are no specific patient preparations required for most nuclear medicine and bone scan procedures. If there is specific preparation that you need to follow, we will let you know when you make your appointment.
Please ensure you bring your referral, Medicare card and any previous films with you to your appointment.
On the day of your appointment:
When you arrive at our practice the reception team will register you for your procedure.
A Nuclear Medicine Technologist will greet you, explain the procedure and gather specific clinical information, which will assist with your results, and enable us to perform the scan as accurately as possible.
Scan and procedure specifics
For nuclear medicine procedures a radiopharmaceutical is administered – this is usually given intravenously (into a vein in your arm), but for some scans it is administered orally (as a drink). This radiopharmaceutical follows specific functions within the body and allows us to take images of this functional information. We use a SPECT/CT Gamma Camera that utilizes the latest xSPECT technology.
Sometimes we need to acquire images when the radiopharmaceutical is administered and this can vary in duration. Other times we need you to return a few hours or days later to have the images taken. On some occasions we require both of the above. Any detailed information specific to your procedure or scan will be given to you before you arrive at our practice.
You will be asked to lie down on our scanning table as shown in the image. This will then move into the machine where the scan will occur. This process is painless and the machine is very quiet. Images can take from a few minutes to an hour depending on the type of scan.
On occasions the machine will rotate around you and acquire images in 3D – this is called SPECT. We may also have to take a low dose CT series that is reconstructed, fused with the 3D nuclear images and creates our SPECT/CT images.
The image on the right is the scanner at Garran Medical Imaging.
Your report and images
Once your images are complete, we process them using our computer. This allows us to provide clear images to assist in your diagnosis. Our doctor will complete the report and make the images available to your doctor.