Nuclear Medicine

Operating Hours :
Monday and Tuesday:  7 am - 3:30 pm
Wednesday through Friday:  7 am to 5:30 pm

Nuclear medicine imaging provides your physician with images of your body that illustrate how your organs and tissues are working. These images can be used to diagnose and monitor diseases that affect almost every major system of the body. Each specific type of examination is different, but there are a few common characteristics. In each type of study, a material called a radiotracer is injected in a vein or ingested.

Different tracers are used for different studies, but each is formulated to be attracted to particular cells and organ systems. The radiotracer is absorbed by the target cells, which can then be imaged with a gamma or positron camera. Nuclear medicine physicians can interpret the images and determine whether or not the cells are behaving normally based on the concentration of the radiotracer. In some studies, images are taken at multiple time points, enabling the evaluation of organ function over time.

The most significant benefit of nuclear medicine is that these non-invasive studies provide information that might only otherwise be obtained through surgery. Nuclear medicine imaging is safer and more cost-effective than surgery, and requires no recovery; you can resume normal activities as soon as the study is complete. For many studies, no special preparation is required. For some, however, you may be asked to avoidsolid foods and fluids for several hours before the examination. Your doctor will discuss such details with you.

Nuclear Medicine at Heywood Hospital uses a state-of-the-art multi-head gamma camera system and a high-end full ring PET/CT Scanner. Other services include a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Specialized nuclear medicine diagnostic approaches and therapeutic techniques are continuously developed and implemented to meet the needs of patients enrolled in numerous cancer treatment protocols. 

Nuclear medicine studies performed at Heywood Hospital include:

  • Bone Scan
  • Cardiac Scan
  • RVG (Gated Blood Pool or MUGA Scan)
  • Whole body Gallium Scan
  • Hepatobiliary Scan
  • Lymphoscintigram 
  • Renal Scan
  • Liver Scan
  • Thallium Scan
  • GI Bleed
  • Spleen Scan
  • Lung Vent/Perfusion
  • Parathyroid Scan
  • Thyroid Scan
  • Meckels Scan

PET/CT

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a powerful imaging technique that offers diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, particularly cancer. A non-invasive test, PET scans accurately image the cellular function of the human body. In a single PET scan your physician can examine your entire body. PET scanning provides a more complete picture, making it easier for your doctor to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment, and track progress.

What is PET/CT?
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans are both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint disease states in the body. A PET scan demonstrates the biological function of the body before anatomical changes take place, while the CT scan provides information about the body's anatomy such as size, shape and location. By combining these two scanning technologies, a PET/CT scan enables physicians to more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.
 

Patient Instructions for Procedures

Bone Scan
HIDA Scan
SPECT Scan
Thyroid Scan

For further information regarding Nuclear Medicine Services at Heywood Hospital contact Pamela Santucci, CNMT, Supervisor of Nuclear Medicine at (978) 630-6233 or at Pamela.Santucci@heywood.org.

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