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Nuclear medicine

Grant Regional Health Center offers nuclear medicine on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please call 608.723.2143 to schedule your appointment. Some of these tests need to be checked through your insurance, so please allow up to one week for your insurance to be checked verifying prior authorization status. Many times this can be accomplished as early as 24 hours, but each case is different.

These exams are unable to be scheduled at specific times. At the time of scheduling, you will not be given a time, but instead will be called the afternoon or evening before your exam with the time and any special instructions you will need. Generally, these appointments will be before noon. If you are unable to make the time of your given appointment, please contact the Radiology Department as soon as possible. The radiopharmaceutical is made up specific for you ahead of time. So if you cancel, this costly "x-ray dye" has to be disposed of, because it will not be able to be used at another time or for another patient. Depending on the situation, you may still be charged for the "dye" even if you do not have the exam. Often if you call as soon as possible, the dose is able to be cancelled before it is made. We encourage trying to make the time work, but understand some situations are out of your control.

This type of testing is used to diagnose a wide range of conditions. It can help make diagnosis of gallbladder disease, stress fractures, cancers, blood clots and much more. During the exam the patient will inhale, swallow or be injected with a radiopharmaceutical. This is a radioactive material that helps the staff see the information that is needed for your imaging. Depending on the type of exam, you may be asked to come back after a couple of hours or even the next day to allow that material to be absorbed into the area where it is needed. Once the certain amount of time has passed, the patient will generally lie down on the exam table while a camera takes pictures. This camera focuses on the area of interest where the radioactive material is concentrated. This will allow the radiologist to review your history and images to help diagnosis a problem if there is one present. The patient will inhale, swallow or be injected with a radiopharmaceutical. This is a radioactive material. After taking the substance, the patient will normally lie down on a table, while a camera takes pictures. The camera will focus on the area where the radioactive material is concentrated, and this will show the doctor what kind of a problem there is, and where it is.

If there is any chance of pregnancy or you are breast feeding, please notify your ordering provider and the technologist before scheduling your exam.

Commonly asked questions

Will I feel the radiopharmaceutical like I do with other x-ray dyes?

No, you generally have no feeling of when the radioactive material is given.

Can I drive when I have this test?

Yes, the material that is given during your exam will not impair you in anyway. If your doctor has given you any other prescription that is not given to you in the Radiology Department at the time of your appointment, please ask if it will affect you in any way.

Do I need blood work done to have this test done?

Unlike MRI and CT, this material does not need blood work as it has no other effect on the body. You may be familiar with MRI and CT contrast, where you might be asked to have blood drawn beforehand, but that doesn't need to be done. However, your doctor still may order blood work to help in your diagnosis and care.

How long before I get my results?

You will normally get your results within two to three business days. The technologist performing your exam is not able to release any results or information about your exam. Once the exam is completed, the technologist enters in the details of your history for the radiologist to review while looking at your images. There are many images for the doctor to review and once the finalized report is done, it then gets sent to the provider who ordered your exam. They then take time to review the exam and report and decide any treatment or next steps that need to be taken before giving you the results of your exam.

Some tests done in nuclear medicine are considered a two-step process. Both steps must be completed for a report to be finalized. In some cases, these tests may have to be sent to a different facility, such as Madison, for it to be reviewed by a cardiologist. In this case, it could be one to two weeks before the results are finalized and you get notification from your provider.

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