Nuclear Medicine Suite
The Nuclear Medicine suite in the new Medical Tower includes three scan rooms, a treadmill room, a thyroid scan room, two injection rooms and a hot lab (for radioactive substances used in nuclear medicine imaging).
The suite includes the most advanced medical equipment available to provide patients with superior evaluation and diagnosis.
SPECT/CT 3-D Scanning System
The Infinia Hawkeye 4 is an intelligent SPECT/CT 3-D scanning system. Physicians inject patients with radioactive substances that can be seen inside the body using a gamma camera. The gamma camera measures how the substances react with the body. Physicians then look at the activity to make a diagnosis.
- Quicker imaging results mean less time spent waiting
- Short examination time means less time in the scanner and increased comfort
- Reduced radiation exposure, contributing to lower lifetime radiation exposure
What is Nuclear Medicine?
Nuclear Medicine is a part of radiology where you are given a small amount of radioactive material that enables the technologists to acquire images of organs and systems in your body. Unlike other imaging procedures such as ultrasound or MRI that looks for an image of the organ, nuclear medicine looks specifically at how the organ functions in your body.
Nuclear medicine uses state-of-the-art imaging devices called gamma cameras. These machines produce no radiation; instead they pick up the radiation that is being emitted from the radioactive material given to you via an IV.
How to prepare
There are many different procedure preparations in Nuclear Medicine. Please talk with your referring physician as to what preparation will be required for your specific procedure or contact the Department of Nuclear Medicine to speak with one of the staff.
How the procedure is performed
After the administration of the radioactive drug, there is usually a waiting period to allow the radioactivity to be taken up by the specific organ your physician has requested imaging for. You are then taken into one of the scan rooms and asked to lie on your back on one of the imaging tables. A specialized imaging device called a gamma camera is then placed over the area to be scanned and exposure images are acquired. Depending on the procedure, the images can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. During the imaging procedure, you won't need to hold your breath but you'll need to remain still for the duration of the imaging process. Often after the images have been acquired, a special computer analysis of the images is performed to help in the diagnosis.
The completed procedure is reviewed by a board-certified Nuclear Medicine specialist. He will interpret the images and computer analysis and generate a written report for your referring physician. This report will usually arrive within three business days. If a report is needed sooner, please let us know.
Nuclear cardiology lab
Providence Regional is known for its award-winning cardiac care, which includes us as one of the busiest nuclear cardiology labs in the region. We handle more than 3,500 stress tests per year using radioactive materials for heart imaging, which are all interpreted by board-certified cardiologists.
We also perform a broad range of general Nuclear Medicine procedures both for the diagnosis and the treatment of various disease states. We operate under the direction of a board-certified Nuclear Medicine physician who was also named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors in 2009. We are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology and are also inspected yearly by the State of Washington, with perfect scores for the last five years.
When the new Medical Tower opens in 2011, we'll have a gamma camera/CT scan hybrid which will be the only one of its kind in the northern Puget Sound.
We are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For after-hours, emergency cases, we are staffed with an on-call technologist. For a detailed, patient preparation guide, call our scheduling department at 425-258-7000 or for more general information, call 425-261-4190.