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Outpatient Services

Nuclear Medicine

What to expect


Making safety a top priority

Radiation exposure for Nuclear Medicine is similar to that of a standard X-ray, or radiograph. Healthcare providers around the world have found that the benefits of Nuclear Medicine and other diagnostic imaging exams outweigh the small risk of radiation exposure. Lancaster General Health is committed to maximizing quality while working hard to minimize the risk for our patients of all ages.
>> Learn more about radiation safety at LG Health
>> Learn more about our Image Gently program for pediatric imaging

What to Expect

For all Nuclear Medicine tests, a radiopharmaceutical must be administered in order to perform the test.  Depending on the type of test, the radiopharmaceutical may be injected, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. The amount of time it takes to reach its target varies. The imaging may be done immediately, or not until hours or days later. During the actual exam, you will lie on an examination table. You will be asked to lie still while the camera captures images; in between, you may be asked to change position. Scanning time can range from approximately 20 minutes to several hours. The test may be conducted over multiple days.

How to prepare

Your doctor should give you specific instructions based on the type of scan you are receiving. In general, tell your physician and the technologist about any medications or supplements you are taking, any recent illnesses or medical conditions. Women should tell the doctor and technologist if they could be pregnant or are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor and the technologist if you become uncomfortable in tight spaces, as the camera may come very close to your body. Remove jewelry and metal accessories or leave them at home.

Getting your results

The technologist is not permitted to discuss test results with you. A radiologist will interpret the study and forward results to your doctor. You can also view your results at MyLGHealth, a safe, secure online tool.

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