Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is only available at BMI University Hospital Geelong

We will need to see your request form prior to making your booking, to allow us to review any preparation instructions that you will need to follow.

You can bring your request into BMI University Hospital Geelong or alternatively your request may be faxed to 4215 0442 or emailed to Please ensure your current contact details including, address, mobile telephone number and email address (if preferred) are provided.

BMI will then contact you by telephone to discuss a suitable appointment time as well as any relevant clinical history and preparation.

An appointment confirmation letter will also be mailed to you.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses tiny amounts of radioactive materials called tracers. These are introduced into the body to investigate the function of particular organs and images are then taken with a special scanning device called a Gamma Camera.

Sometimes radioactive materials are also used to treat particular conditions.

Some commonly performed nuclear medicine procedures include bone scan, thyroid scan, lung scan (V/Q scan), renal scan, biliary scan, and thallium scan.

What to expect?

Upon arrival for your scan, a nuclear medicine technologist will meet with you to discuss your scan and answer any further questions you may have.

For your Nuclear Medicine scan, you may be required to remove some clothing and change into a gown. Any jewellery or piercings in the area we are scanning must also be removed as metal can interfere with your scans.

A nuclear medicine technologist will also assist with the introduction of a tracer, by a small injection into a vein.

Different scans require the tracer to be in your body for different periods of time – so sometimes pictures may be taken immediately, or you may be asked to return at a later time or day.

A brochure is available in the Downloads section of this page.

How long do Nuclear Medicine Scans take?

The length of time a nuclear medicine scan will take is variable. Some procedures may require you to attend more than once as part of the same test, with a gap of several hours between the attendances. Others may be completed in the one attendance.

The nuclear medicine staff will advise you of the expected duration at the time of booking.

Preparation for Nuclear Medicine Scans

For many nuclear medicine scans, little or no preparation is required. However, some of the more complex procedures need preparation that may include ceasing particular medications prior to the procedure.

Should you have Diabetes please discuss your preparation with BMI staff when they call you.

Nuclear medicine staff will advise you of any preparation requirements for your scan when they contact you to make your booking. These will also be reconfirmed in your appointment confirmation letter which will be mailed to you.

Safety Issues

Because you will have a small amount of radioactive material in your body, we advise to avoid close contact with young children (under the age of eighteen) and pregnant women.

Breastfeeding mothers may need to cease breastfeeding for a period of time following their scan.

Nuclear Medicine staff will advise if this is necessary and also the length of time for which breastfeeding will need to be suspended.

Please inform us, if you are pregnant or believe there is a possibility you could be pregnant, so that we may discuss this with you and your referrer.

Further information on Radiation can be found under our FAQ section.

Additional resources regarding children and imaging can also be found in our FAQ section.

Contact Us

If you require further information regarding a Nuclear Medicine scan please call Barwon Medical Imaging on T. 4215 0350.