How does it feel?
The answers to your questions on what a Nuclear Medicine examination feels like, how long does it last, what effects it will have on you, and how the medical staff will look after you during the process.
by Prof. Serge Goldman, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
It is a simple examination without any harm to you. Most of the times, it starts with the administration of a small amount of a radioactive tracer in your body through a vein puncture. The amount of tracer injected is so small that you will not feel anything during the injection and there will be no later reaction. In some circumstances, the small amount of tracer will not be administered intravenously but through another route, for instance orally when the examination aims to assess the motility of your digestive system. Once the tracer has been administered, there might be a waiting time before images are taken; this waiting time might vary from a few minutes to several hours. The image acquisition is done using a machine, on which you will be comfortably installed on a couch. In most cases you will be lying on your back, but in some cases you might be seated or placed in a specific position. The machine is not noisy and the detectors do not totally cover your body, so you will not have a feeling of confinement. The person in charge of the examination will be around and available to help you at any time. You will have the opportunity to communicate with this person during the entire examination. Certain examinations require successive images to be taken at various times following the injection.