Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

The Schweitzer Nuclear Medicine Suite

nuclear medicine dedication

The Schweitzer Nuclear Medicine Suite was made possible by the generous support of Ed (pictured above at right) and Beatriz Schweitzer through the Gritman Foundation.

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that safely uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.

Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the radiotracer is either injected into a vein, swallowed, inhaled as a gas, or injected intrathecally, and eventually accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays.

This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera. This camera works together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer in the area of interest, and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues.

Procedures Performed

  • Breast lymph node mapping
  • Cardiac stress test
  • Chemical stress test
  • Cisternogram
  • Gastric emptying
  • GI bleed
  • HIDA scan
  • Melanoma lymph node mapping
  • Meckel’s scan
  • Renal scan
  • Spect bone scan
  • Three phase bone scan
  • Thyroid uptake scan
  • Whole-body bone scan
  • VQ lung scan


Nuclear medicine uses low dose isotopes with short half-lives to make the exams as safe as possible. There is always a risk with exposure to radiation, however, the benefit of the information provided is believed to outweigh the risks associated with having a radiology procedure. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their physician before undergoing a nuclear medicine exam.

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