Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is the medical specialty that involves the use of radioactive isotopes in the diagnosis of various diseases. Franklin Memorial Hospital Nuclear Medicine offers all the same exams as much larger nuclear medicine facilities, including:

  • Nuclear stress testing of the heart
  • Bone scanning
  • Kidney scanning
  • Gallbladder scanning
  • Lung scanning
  • Setinel Node breast exams
  • Thyroid scanning
  • Tumor scanning
  • Infection scanning

We currently have 2 full time technologists with one per diem technologist. We are also affiliated with the Clark F. Miller School of Nuclear Medicine, usually housing 1 full time student.

Most of our scanning is done with a Siemens C Cam single head gamma camera. We also use a Biodex Spectometer for thyroid scanning. Our radiopharmaceuticals are prepared and delivered to us by Pharm-Corp of Maine in Augusta, but we have the capability of mixing some radiopharmaceuticals in case of emergency.

Nuclear Medicine Hours of Operation at Franklin Memorial Hospital

Monday through Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions about Nuclear Medicine

Q. Are there any side effects from the injection? Will it change the color of my urine?

A. The injection causes no side effects, and it does not affect the color of your urine.

Q. How long will the injection stay in my body?

A. Usually the tracer is gone within 24 hours. Some last a little longer, depending on the isotope used.

Q. Why can’t doses be used the next day?

A. The doses decay quickly. Most of the isotope used has a 6 hours ½ life.

Q. Why can’t patients be added to the schedule on the morning of the exam?

A. The Radiopharmacy lab in Augusta only makes 1 delivery per day. They deliver at approximately 6:15 a.m.

Q. What studies can be added to the schedule for the same day?

A. Depending on the time of day, gallbladder scans, lung scans, and bone scans can be scheduled for the same day. Call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 779-2376 for further information.

Q. Why are some cardiac scans done in 1 day and some in 2 days?

A. This varies due to the weight of the patient. Scans for anyone 200 pounds or greater need to be done over 2 days using larger doses so that we can get adequate images.

Prep Instructions for Some Common Exams

Bone Scan, 3 Phase,

Limited Bone Scan

No initial prep. Stay well hydrated and urinate frequently after the injection

NM Stress Test (Sestamibi)

No caffeine for 24 hours (chocolate, coffee, decaf coffee, soda or tea), no Beta Blockers for 24 hours (unless your physician instructs otherwise).

HIDA or HIDA w/ CCK (Gallbladder scan)

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before, no pain medication for 6 hours.

Gastric Emptying

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before,

no Reglan for 24 hours.

Thyroid Scan

No prep needed.

Thyroid Uptake & Scan

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before, nothing for 2 hours after taking the capsule, no thyroid medications for 3 weeks, no PTU for 3 days, no multivitamins for 1 week, no cabbage, turnips, greens, seafood, kelp, or large amounts of table salt for 2 days.

Renal with Captopril

No Captopril for 2 days, no diuretics for 1 week, no hypertensive medication for 24 hours, no contrast media for 24 hours, recent BUN and CREAT, if possible.

111 Franklin Health Commons, Farmington, ME 04938 - (207)-778-6031