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Nuclear Medicine FAQs

Learn More About Nuclear Medicine Tests at AMI in New Jersey

Many patients have questions when they are first recommended a nuclear medicine test. We have compiled these answers to frequently asked questions to help you learn more about the procedure. Our team will also be happy to answer any of your questions directly.

Isn’t nuclear material dangerous?

Most everyone is familiar with the dangers of radiation, but in reality, you are exposed to various forms of radiation on a daily basis. As with most things, exposure to radiation is safe in small quantities. In fact, the radiation exposure in nuclear medicine is roughly the same as that in a standard X-ray.

Nuclear medicine has been successfully used for over 60 years without any long-term side effects for patients.

Is the test painful?

Some patients will need the nuclear material injected through an IV, but other than that the test is not painful.

Can I eat before the test?

This depends on the type of nuclear medicine test you will undergo. Not all exams require fasting, but some do. You can check our nuclear medicine preparations page for a quick preparation overview for various tests.

Will I be able to drive afterward?

Nuclear medicine does not require sedation, so you should be free to drive afterward unless you are undergoing another procedure the same day that uses anesthesia.

What if I’m allergic to the dye?

The contrast material used is inert and does not cause allergic reactions.

How long will the test take?

The length of the test varies depending on the type of procedure. Most tests are performed in a single day, but some take place over several days. You should expect to spend anywhere between one to three hours at the clinic for the exam.

I’m breastfeeding, is this test safe for me?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, nuclear medicine may not be a good choice for you. Be sure to tell your doctor so they can explore other options.

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