Nuclear Medicine


Nuclear Medicine

There are two gamma cameras within the trust, one at RLI and the other at FGH. Some of the types of scans involved include:

What does a scan involve and how does it work?

Nuclear medicine scans (or radionuclide scans) provide functional information and often work alongside other imaging modalities such as CT, MRI and U/S. A scan involves an injection of a chemical, which emits a type of radiation called gamma rays which can be picked up on a special type of scanner called a gamma camera.

Depending on the information required and the type of injection, the patient is scanned either immediately or after a specified length of time. The scan can take anything from 15 minutes to an hour and half depending on the particular scan being performed. Patients do not usually need to get undressed for the scan, but may be asked to remove jewellery, belts and shoes.

What preparation should I do?

Any preparation instructions for the scan will be included in the appointment letter. This preparation may vary from simply being well-hydrated to starving for 12 hours prior to the scan. Please consult your letter before your appointment.

Where do I go?

The Nuclear Medicine is in the X-Ray Department on the ground floor of the Centenary Building at Royal Lancaster Infirmary. At Furness General Hospital it is located in the main X-Ray department on the ground floor.

Are there any side effects?

There are no particular side effects from the injections used but due to the radioactive nature and the amount of radioactivity injected, the patient may be given instructions to avoid close contact with young children or pregnant women as a precautionary measure.  If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please inform the department before you attend your appointment.

The radiation risk involved with the scans depends on the body area being examined. All requests for scans are viewed and accepted by experienced, qualified staff to ensure the patient’s condition warrants the scan and every precaution and recommendation is followed to ensure that any radiation dose is kept to a minimum. The radiation has almost all left your body after about a week. 

When and how will I get the results?

The results may take up to 2 weeks to come through. You should hear from your referring doctor, either by letter or at a follow up appointment. If you have not heard anything within 4 weeks we recommend you contact the referring doctor via the Hospital Switchboard on 01229 870870.

Reviewed October 2016

Radiology Glossary

Angiography – A type of X-Ray used to examine blood vessels

Biopsy – A procedure to take a small sample of tissue so that it can be examined and tested

CT Scans – A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan is used to capture a detailled image of the inner body

Fluoroscopy – A type of X-Ray used to examine moving images of the inner body

Hysterosalpingogram – An X-ray that examines the reproductive organs of women, such as the uterus and fallopian tubes

Mammography - A type of X-Ray used to examine breast tissues

MRI Scan – A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inner body

Nuclear Medicine – The application of a small amount of radioactive substances in order to diagnose diseases

Ultrasound – A procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of a part of the body. Commonly used during pregnancy to produce images of the baby in the womb.

X-Ray – A painless procedure used to take images of the inside of the body

Contact Details

FGH X-Ray Reception - 01229 403558

RLI Appointments - 01524 511911

RLI X-Ray Reception - 01524 583651

WGH X-Ray Reception - 01539 795276

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