10 doctors weighed in:

Are nuclear medicine procedures painful? What will i experience during and after the procedure?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: Not usually

The pain usually is short lived from an intravenous injection of the radiotracer. Some people experience pain from hida studies for gall bladder function and chest discomfort from cardiac stress tests.
Patient is monitored by medical personnel.. The patient is usually imaged in the lying down position. Imaging time is variable and can last few hours, but is intermittent and not continuous.

In brief: Not usually

The pain usually is short lived from an intravenous injection of the radiotracer. Some people experience pain from hida studies for gall bladder function and chest discomfort from cardiac stress tests.
Patient is monitored by medical personnel.. The patient is usually imaged in the lying down position. Imaging time is variable and can last few hours, but is intermittent and not continuous.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Dr. Gerald Mandell
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Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Nuclear Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Usually no...

The radiotracers themselves are not painful and do not cause reactions like intravenous contrast used for a CT scan.
Placement of IVs or administration of certain agents such as CCK for HIDA scan can cause some cramping or pain but the radiotracers themselves will not. Knowing the specific type of nuclear test you are referring to may help us give a more detailed answer.

In brief: Usually no...

The radiotracers themselves are not painful and do not cause reactions like intravenous contrast used for a CT scan.
Placement of IVs or administration of certain agents such as CCK for HIDA scan can cause some cramping or pain but the radiotracers themselves will not. Knowing the specific type of nuclear test you are referring to may help us give a more detailed answer.
Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
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Dr. Laura McMullen
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Most

Most nuclear medicine studies are painless except for the placement of the IV or catheter depending on what procedure you are having done.
I've attached a helpful website that goes more in-depth about what to expect. If you have any specific questions about your procedure, you should call the nuclear medicine dept. Of the hospital performing your procedure.

In brief: Most

Most nuclear medicine studies are painless except for the placement of the IV or catheter depending on what procedure you are having done.
I've attached a helpful website that goes more in-depth about what to expect. If you have any specific questions about your procedure, you should call the nuclear medicine dept. Of the hospital performing your procedure.
Dr. Laura McMullen
Dr. Laura McMullen
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Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology

In brief: Just an IV injection

Most nm procedures require an intravenous injection and lying still on a narrow bed for imaging.
That's it. There can be a variable waiting time between the injection and the imaging, but patients wait in a regular waiting room. Afterwards, you can go about your normal routine. If you have an i-131 treatment, you will have specific instructions because you will be radioactive for days.

In brief: Just an IV injection

Most nm procedures require an intravenous injection and lying still on a narrow bed for imaging.
That's it. There can be a variable waiting time between the injection and the imaging, but patients wait in a regular waiting room. Afterwards, you can go about your normal routine. If you have an i-131 treatment, you will have specific instructions because you will be radioactive for days.
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Dr. Joseph Accurso
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