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Fit And Well Idaho: Nuclear Medicine

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By Brittany Cooper

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Nuclear medicine is referred to as a safe and painless technique to look at the body. It's used for diagnostic purposes at Cassia Regional Medical Center in Burley.

Nuclear medicine....sounds intense, right? Well it's more common than you might think.

Using a gamma camera, in this case Higley places the patient's gallbladder under the lens.

As Michelle Higley, Nuclear Medicine Technologist explains, "so Eric, we're going to put you under the camera...I will be injecting the medication into your iv to see the gallbladder contract and visualize the gallbladder to see if it's functioning normally."

Higley uses small doses of radioactivity which are tagged to radioactive tracers.

"The radioactivity is primarily injected into the bloodstream, occasionally it's ingested or inhaled, depending on the study we do...and that tracer goes to those specific body parts."

Once information is obtained, the radiologist can then diagnose followed by a physician treating the patient.