Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear imaging includes a wide array of imaging examinations wherein a small amount of a radioactive medication is injected into your body, usually a vein, and then images are performed either immediately and/or after a period of delay. There are virtually no side effects to any of the medications used, and the amount of radiation exposure is extremely minimal. IHS has the most widespread imaging center-based nuclear imaging departments in San Diego County, offering our patients these advanced studies in a convenient, private environment.

We maintain meticulous quality control in our nuclear imaging departments for your safety and protection. Our sites are licensed and inspected by The State of California Department of Health Services. The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board certifies our nuclear imaging technologists.

Nuclear imaging is used for a wide variety of diagnostic questions including evaluation of the thyroid gland, treatment of thyroid disease, evaluation of bones and joints, assessment of the gallbladder and bile ducts, cardiac evaluation and others.

How Does Nuclear Imaging Work?

First, your doctor works with our radiologists to determine that a nuclear imaging examination best suits your diagnostic needs. For most examinations, a certified nuclear technologist will need to inject a small amount of radioactive medicine intravenously in your arm.

For some examinations, images are then immediately obtained by having the patient lie on a table alongside a special nuclear camera. In addition, in most instances, images are obtained 2-4 hours after the initial injection, or sometimes 1-2 days after the injection. The nuclear imaging medications are designed to go to specific abnormal areas in your body. Various medications are designed to show infection, blood flow, cancer, fractures or other problems that may be hard to detect with other imaging methods.

Your IHS Radiologist will promptly review your nuclear images and issue a report to your doctor. In some cases, your doctor may also receive the images and audio report on a personal computer in his or her office.

Nuclear Imaging Procedures

Click the procedures below for more information

Prep Instructions

  1. Arrive at the specified time to allow for registration and exam preparation.
  2. Notify us upon arrival of any special needs or allergies.
  3. Bring insurance card and authorization or worker’s comp information.
  4. Plan to pay required co-pays at the time of service.
  5. Bring a picture ID.
  6. Wear comfortable clothing.

To insure the highest quality procedure in a safe environment, we are unable to provide child care services for you at the time of your examination. Please do not bring unattended children to the imaging center.

Cell phones are not permitted in the suite.



North Coast Health Center
477 N. El Camino real
Suite A-102
Encinitas, CA 92024

T 760 452 7150
F 866 558 4329

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