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Frequently asked nuclear medicine questions

Nuclear medicine technician Emma Lloyd giving nuclear medicine physicist David Monk an injection
Nuclear medicine technician Emma Lloyd giving nuclear medicine physicist David Monk an injection

Q: I’ve already had some tests that use radiation, and now I’m having this one. Will the radiation cause me any harm?

A: We are all surrounded by radiation everyday. The amount of radiation used in this test is very small and very unlikely to cause you any harm. Your doctor thinks that the results of this test are more important than the small risk of radiation.

 

Q: I’m going abroad on holiday a week after my test, is this OK?

A: Depending on which test you are having there will be very small amounts of radiation in your body up to two months after the test. Airports and ferry ports have very sensitive detectors that can pick up this radiation. This does not mean that we have to cancel your appointment.  Please let the department know if you are planning on going abroad within two weeks of your test

 

Q: I have a young puppy at home, will the radiation affect him

A: Because your puppy is still growing, some of our tests may mean that it would be best for you to avoid prolonged close contact with him until the morning after the test. Our staff will give you advice on how long you should take these precautions for.


Q: I’m babysitting my two grandchildren the day after my test, will this be alright?

A: Almost all of the radiation will have gone from your body by the morning after your test is completed. The restrictions that we recommend will have finished and you may carry out your normal day-to-day activities. Babysitting the day after the test will be fine.

 

Q: Will the radiation make me feel or look any different?

A: The radiation is only used to enable us to ‘see’ inside your body using the special camera. The radiation by itself won’t make you look or feel any different.