Nuclear medicine imaging tests send out very small doses of radioactive material into the body to diagnose a wide variety of illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Highly skilled radiologists perform the tests on several vital organs, including the brain, the lungs and most important, the heart. Dr. Nader Chadda and his team of cardiovascular professionals have perfected the implementation of nuclear imaging to detect the early onset of heart disease, which gives our patients more time to fight against life threatening diseases such as atherosclerosis.
COMMON REASONS FOR USING NUCLEAR IMAGING
In general, nuclear imaging is a medical procedure that analyzes the structural and functional capabilities of bones, organs, and tissues. For cardiovascular applications, Dr. Chadda uses nuclear imaging to view blood flow, which determines whether our team of cardiovascular specialists will dig deeper to look for heart issues such as coronary stenosis and coronary artery disease. Nuclear imaging helps us evaluate the damage to the heart caused by a heart attack. We also learn the type of intervention we need to perform, such as stenting or angioplasty, for restoring the heart to robust health.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR NUCLEAR IMAGING
Preparation for nuclear imaging begins at home, where you make a list of the medications you take that include over the counter vitamins and minerals. Several days before the medical procedure, we will give you clear instructions for food and drink. Dr. Chadda asks patients to leave jewelry and other types of metallic accessories at home to prevent interference with the diagnostic equipment. We also inquire about any allergies or illnesses you have recently suffered.
HOW DR. CHADDA’S TEAM PERFORMS NUCLEAR IMAGING TESTS
Our clinic typically performs nuclear imaging tests at our well-equipped facility. One of our nurses or technicians will insert an intravenous (IV) tube into a vein located in one of your arms or hands. The amount of the radiotracer we inject through the IV depends on the type of nuclear imaging we plan to perform. It can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days for the radiotracer to travel through the body and reach the heart. This means we might take images of the heart and surrounding area between a couple of hours and a few days after releasing the radiotracer into the body.
A scanner takes the series of images that provide us with physical evidence on the health status of your heart. We like to rotate the scanner, as opposed to asking patients to change positions on the diagnostic table to obtain several angles of the heart area. After the examination, we will ask you to wait until one of our accomplished technicians reviews the images to see if we need to take additional mini-photos of your heart.
WHAT YOU FEEL DURING THE TEST
Except for the insertion of an IV catheter, nuclear imaging tests are pain-free. The tests rarely cause discomfort or lingering side effects. You might feel a mild pin prick during the insertion of the IV that delivers the radiotracer and after the radiotracer is released, some of our patients have mentioned feeling a cold sensation move up the arm. Our dedicated team of cardiovascular experts also performs nuclear imaging tests by requesting patients to inhale or swallow a radiotracer.
BENEFITS OF NUCLEAR IMAGING TESTS
Nuclear medicine imaging presents unique diagnostic information on the heart that we cannot acquire by other means of testing. The diagnostic test is frequently less costly and certainly less invasive than other types of cardiovascular diagnostic tests, as well as surgical procedures. Nuclear imaging allows Dr. Chadda and his team of certified nurses, surgeons, and technicians to detect the onset of heart disease at the earliest stage long before our patients notice symptoms.
Cardiologists have used nuclear imaging tests successfully for more than five decades. With no known long-term negative side effects, we enthusiastically endorse the medical procedure to ensure your heart remains healthy.
Contact our clinic to schedule a nuclear imaging test. The health of your heart might depend on it.
- Nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures have been used for more than five decades, and there are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exposure.