In conventional X-ray or CT examinations, the radiation comes out of a machine and then passes through the patient's body. Nuclear Medicine exams, however, use the opposite approach: a radioactive material is introduced into the patient's body (usually by injection), and is then detected by a machine called a gamma camera. X-rays produce a structural image of an organ -- in other words, they tell us what the organ looks like. On the other hand, nuclear scans image organ function. That is, they can tell us what part of an organ is working properly, and what part is not. For example, in one kind of nuclear scan called bone imaging, the bone metabolism changes caused by trauma, infection or invasion by tumor may be seen weeks or months before an abnormality is seen with X-rays.
For more detailed information on selected exams, please consult the following individual fact sheets:
The exam images will first be viewed by a Radiologist, a physician specializing in analyzing these exams. Our Radiologists will review the results of your Nuclear Medicine scan with your doctor who will then explain them to you. Your doctor should have access to your exam results within 24 hours.
When you call, we'll ask you for basic information such as your Social Security number. We'll ask you what type of test you need to schedule, and will schedule you for the best possible time. If you need to reschedule your exam, you can call us back and we'll be happy to arrange a better time for you.
When you call to schedule your exam, we'll also give you important information about preparing for the exam. If your doctor has scheduled the exam for you, and you have questions regarding the preparation or the procedure itself, you can call the imaging department where your procedure is being performed (please refer to our 'Locations' page for exact phone numbers).
Complete the necessary paperwork to order the test (similar to writing a prescription for medication)
Fax, mail, or place the order in our computer system
Call us to schedule a test for you or have your physician call us directly
DRC's state-of-the-art PACS technology offers you immediate access to the images of your radiologic exam. No longer does your physician have to wait to have copies of your films made. Although we can still print your X-ray on film for you with just 24 hours notice, your physician can now review your exam images immediately via the Internet. We offer safe and secure web access for your physician through Specialty Networks. Your privacy and HIPAA compliance is assured.
If your physician prefers, the digital images from your study can be written to a CD-ROM, giving him/her a permanent record that can be accessed easily and quickly via a computer. CDs hold multiple studies and take up significantly less space than the traditional film in the brown envelope. A 24-hour notice is also requested to create this digital record for you.
Internet access to your studies for your doctor is available immediately after your pictures are taken. Copies of your images can be obtained on a CD or on film with 24 hours notice.
Both Internet and CD viewing offer your physician the ability to digitally adjust your images in ways not possible with traditional X-ray film. Using the computer, the image can be made lighter or darker or zoomed for better visualization of a particular portion, for example. Your physician can fine-tune the images to accommodate his or her preferences.
To receive a CD or film copies of exam images, please follow these steps:
1. Call the location where your examination was performed (please refer to the locations page). Please provide your name and other identifying information along with the study being requested. With 24 hours notice, we can either create a CD-ROM or print a film for you. Our representative at the imaging center will provide you with the times available to pick up the exam.
2. To protect your privacy, please be sure to bring a picture ID when you pick up your CD/films, you will have to sign a Medical Images Release form when receiving your CD/films. If anyone else picks up your CD/films for you, please be sure to give him or her your written authorization to release your information to him or her.
3. If you would like us to send a copy of your study to a physician outside the DRC system, we will need a signed release from you along with the study you would like sent and the receiving doctor's name and address. You can fax or deliver us that release in the form of a signed letter at the fax number listed on the locations page. Please allow us plenty of time to send your films.
Currently the first set of films is provided at no cost to the patient. There is no charge for CD-ROM's and, of course, the Internet is always free.