Nuclear medicine at Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) is used to diagnose a broad range of conditions related to the head, body and bones, and organs. Nuclear medicine techniques also may be part of a treatment plan for certain cancers and vascular diseases.
What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine is an umbrella term for a variety of procedures that use tiny amounts of radioactive substances to create images of internal organs and tissues. The radioactive substances either decay or are excreted within a few days. Nuclear medicine also can be used as a method for treatment. For example, nuclear medicine may be employed to help destroy certain types of cancerous tumors. Nuclear medicine techniques rely on highly sophisticated technology. Isotope therapy is a form of nuclear medicine treatment where radioactive isotopes (radioisotopes) are injected or ingested into the body. These isotopes naturally gravitate to certain organs. For example, radioactive iodine is drawn to the thyroid gland. Radioisotope therapy may be combined with radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells.
Our nuclear medicine services provide a full range of imaging for the brain, organs and joints. These procedures include:
- SPECT/CT imaging.
- Isotope therapy.
- Bone scanning.
- Cardiac scanning.
As a diagnostic tool, nuclear medicine may be used to detect cancerous tumors in the organs and bones, aneurysms, blood flow irregularities and blockage in arteries, and malfunctioning of certain organs such as the thyroid. Nuclear medicine also provides images of certain biochemical functions, including brain activity. As a treatment tool, radioactive substances are sometimes effective in destroying certain types of cancerous tissues.
Nuclear medicine uses advanced technologies that require specialized expertise. The team in nuclear medicine technologists includes:
- Board-certified radiologists (MDs).
- Licensed radiological technologists with sub-specialization in nuclear medicine.
- Registered nurses.
- Highly qualified and experienced support staff consisting of secretaries, transcriptionists and transporters.
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