Diagnostic nuclear medicine is a radiological specialty used to diagnose diseases and injuries, and help clinicians monitor the progress of your treatment. It is a very sensitive method of imaging and helps to identify abnormalities very early in the progression of diseases.
There are numerous types of investigations in nuclear medicine, however all involve the patient being administered with a type of medicine called a radiopharmaceutical, which does not usually have any side effects. The radiopharmaceutical is chosen specifically for the type of investigation being undertaken, and involves a small amount of radioactivity, which leaves the body fairly soon after the test. The radioactivity allows our specialised imaging equipment to be able to follow the path of the medicine in your body. This is quite a common test nowadays, and has been around for quite a long time.
We also provide a PET/ CT scanning service. This is a specialist scanning facility which visits Wrexham Maelor Hospital. PET/ CT scans are very specialist in nature, due to the type of scanner and radiopharmaceutical used. This type of scan complements traditional nuclear medicine scans, and other types of imaging e.g. MRI scanning and CT scanning.
When you receive your appointment, you will receive some information regarding the test, things to do and not to do prior to your test, and contact information should you like to discuss your test further with the imaging team prior to your visit.
Your examination will be undertaken by a specially trained healthcare professional called a Radiographer or a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. They will try to make your visit as pleasant as possible, and be able to offer advice as required, ensuring your test is carried out to the highest standard. Your scan will then be interpreted by a medical consultant Radiologist, or reporting Radiographer.
As we have more than one site undertaking these tests, please see the contact information provided in your appointment letter. There is a nuclear medicine department at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Opening hours vary slightly across sites.
It is important that you let us know on arrival if you might be pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Also please let us know if you have had any similar tests recently, especially if done outside Wales.