Nuclear medicine refers to a group of diagnostic tests that utilize a tiny amount of radioactive material, called a radioscope, to produce highly detailed images of different internal organs and systems. The radioactive material administered is so minuscule and eliminated by the body so quickly that it is FDA-approved as safe. Just as important, nuclear medicine’s accuracy is leagues above many other diagnostic tests at identifying diseases in their earliest stages. Says RAO radiologist Dr. Mark Willard, “Nuclear medicine is a remarkably accurate diagnostic tool. It has revolutionized the landscape of diagnostic medicine by enabling us to discover certain problems far sooner, and help eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.”
The highly experienced Board Certified doctors of RAO perform a variety of radiology services designed to discover disease and disorder throughout the body. The hepatobiliary/gallbladder scan is used to measure gallbladder function, disease and biliary duct obstructions. The parathyroid scan can locate abnormal or overactive parathyroid glands. The liver/spleen scan can identify even tiny tumors, cysts, hepatitis, cirrhosis and other issues. The gastric emptying scan can reveal delays in the stomach’s ability to empty itself, which can cause pain, nausea and reflux. Says radiologist Dr. Ryan Tompkins, “For this test we use a scanner to capture images of the stomach every 15 minutes so we can see what’s causing problems and where in the digestive process these problems arise.”
The gallium scan is used to examine the whole body for the presence of infection and/or tumors. And the groundbreaking DaTscan brain imaging test, combined with other evaluations, can help identify Parkinson’s disease and tremor disorders. “We inject the tracker directly into the bloodstream, where it travels to the brain and highlights the neurons that control movement,” says radiologist Dr. Brian Cartwright. “Our gamma camera is able to capture images of the affected areas of the brain so we can consult with a patient’s referring physician to determine if the problem is Parkinsonian in nature or simply essential tremor. Best of all, we can provide a diagnosis in just weeks instead of months or years, as with older tests.”
Nuclear medicine’s speed, accuracy and specificity make it a true innovation in the diagnosis of myriad diseases that once may have gone unidentified. Once a disease or problem has been diagnosed, RAO’s radiologists are ready to consult with your doctor regarding a treatment plan designed to restore your health and enjoyment of life.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call 352-671-4300 or email RAO at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to answer your questions.
Radiology Associates of Ocala
352-671-4300 . www.RAOcala.com