Nuclear Medicine

Specialized diagnostic procedures

Nuclear Medicine at Winchester Hospital

The board-certified radiologists at Winchester Hospital offer nuclear medicine procedures to support your care. Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology. Small amounts of radioactive material, called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer, are used to look at how well organs and tissues are working. This is different from procedures like X-ray or computed tomography (CT), which show only what an organ looks like.

Winchester Hospital offers more than 50 different types of nuclear medicine tests to help you get the care you need. We use nuclear medicine testing to:

  • Diagnose disease
  • Examine an organ’s function
  • Locate potential infections

During a nuclear medicine exam, you receive a radiotracer either by mouth or through an injection. Specialized imaging technology detects the radiotracer and takes detailed images of your organs, bones and tissue.

Nuclear Medicine Safety

Nuclear medicine imaging is safe. The amount of radiotracer you receive is small, so your exposure to radiation is very low. The amount of radiation from a nuclear medicine procedure is similar to, and sometimes less than, a routine X-ray.  

Our specialists customize each imaging scan to your needs, so you receive as little radiation as possible. A radiotracer passes through the body naturally and usually loses its radioactivity within 24 hours. 

Scheduling an Exam

Nuclear medicine imaging requires a written order from your doctor that can be faxed or brought with you. You also may need to get pre-approval from your insurance provider before your exam.

To schedule an exam, call our office at 781-756-2211.

Preparing for Your Nuclear Medicine Exam 

Before Your Exam

Certain types of nuclear medicine exams have special ways to prepare. Your testing team provides these instructions when you schedule your exam.

In general, you should inform your radiologist of any medications you currently take and any known allergies.

During Your Exam

During your exam, you receive your radiotracer through an IV line in your arm or hand. The imaging scan happens either immediately, a few hours later or a few days after receiving the radiotracer.

When the exam begins, the specialized camera rotates above and below you and scans the length of your body. Your team may ask you to change positions between images. 

An exam can last from 30 minutes to a few hours. You may need multiple scans over several days. Your team provides specific details on what to expect.

After Your Exam

A nuclear medicine doctor reviews your test results. They discuss them with your doctor, who explains the results to you.

Make an Appointment

Conditions We Treat

Your doctor may recommend nuclear medicine testing to help diagnose a health condition. We use nuclear medicine to help treat:
  • Abnormal blood flow to the heart
  • Blood circulation to the brain
  • Tumors or bone disease
  • Bone pain or inflammation
  • Breast cancer
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Kidney function
  • Thyroid function
  • Thyroid nodule or mass

Services & Specialties

Your nuclear medicine technologists may work with other specialists to coordinate your care. These may include: