For a a nuclear medicine exam, a small amount of a radioactive tracer material, known as a radiopharmaceutical, is given usually as an injection, or sometimes as a gas to inhale. A special camera is used to see how your body processes the tracer. Radiation exposure from tracers is minimal, and each dose is calculated to use as little radiation as possible without losing image quality. A nuclear medicine scan can take as little as two hours. Sometimes however you may have to leave and come back later that day, or even on following days. Usually by the first 24 hours the radioactivity will pass naturally from your body.
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