During a nuclear medicine imaging procedure, you will be given radiotracers and asked to lie very still on a table. As the radioactive material accumulates in the organ or area of the body being examined, it gives off a small amount of energy in the form of gamma rays, which is detected by a special camera. The detailed images are then displayed on a screen.
Some patients may experience some minor discomfort from the injection site. Lying still on the table may also be uncomfortable for some patients.
Most of the radioactive material is expelled out of your body in urine or stool. The rest simply disappears over time, which can take anywhere from hours to months.
Nuclear medicine imaging is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Imaging time can vary, however, most exams take 20 to 45 minutes.