By Donna Throgmorton, Regional Manager
There are many different modalities of diagnostic imaging – from MRI to CT. But there’s one area we often get asked about that sounds different and distinct from the other modalities – and one we specialize in. Nuclear medicine is a very specific diagnostic imaging modality, and one that, while using specialized cameras, image functionality and computer-generated data, also includes the presence of radioactive material.
For some who don’t know about the modality, it may seem daunting. “Nuclear medicine imaging provides unique information that often cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures and offers the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages,” according to RadiologyInfo.org.
At Numed, we’ve been in the diagnostic imaging business for 45 years. We have a great deal of experience and expertise when it comes to nuclear medicine. Here we’ll go through some myths and common misconceptions about nuclear medicine.
First of all, it does use radioactive material – because without radioactive material, there would be nothing to look at. The cameras used are actually detectors. And by using different radioactive chemicals, which are either inhaled, swallowed, or injected into the body, physicians can view a variety of illnesses. However, the amount of radioactive material used is very small – in fact, if you’ve flown on a plane recently, you likely were exposed to more tracer amounts of radioactivity than the amount received in a nuclear medicine study.
Numed takes the complication out of nuclear medicine. While there can be different guidelines state-to-state beyond the nuclear regulatory commission standard, with Numed everything is simplified. We handle the regulations and compliance, while also allowing the facility to avoid having to hire a physicist, quality control services or technologist to support the department.
The field of nuclear medicine has greatly evolved in recent years. In the past, nuclear medicine cameras were set up in trucks or vans in a mobile support system. Now, everything we do at Numed happens within the hospital, physician office or clinic. We can provide a turnkey nuclear medicine department, built from scratch, within the medical facility. Clients are as involved or as uninvolved as they’d like to be.
Years ago, patients needed to travel hours to get a simple scan. Imaging systems used for nuclear medicine were often big and bulky, sometimes taking up a whole room. But technology has evolved. Now even the most basic hospitals can have the technology needed for thriving nuclear medicine department, and it will continue to get more accessible in the future.
Just as it’s important for patients to feel comfortable with nuclear medicine, it’s equally important for our clients to as well. We’re here to help.