Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive material to investigate how different parts of the body work.

A radioactive material is given to the patient (either by an injection or orally) and is then detected by a scanner, called a gamma camera.

We use these types of scans to diagnose or evaluate or treat a variety of conditions, including many types of cancers, Parkinson's disease, kidney disorders, replacement joints, lung, liver and stomach problems.

Contact us

To contact the Nuclear Medicine Department, call 01392 402124.

The office is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Alternatively, you can email us at:

More about us

The radioactive material, called a radiopharmaceutical or tracer, will settle in certain areas of your body. A gamma camera is then used to take images of the radioactive material inside you. It means we can look at things such as kidney function, the working of the brain, bones and other organs in great detail.

The radioactive tracer will be given to you. If it's by injection, it doesn't hurt any more than the ‘pinprick’ of a blood test. We then have to wait for this tracer to get into whichever part of the body we are examining.

Some scans are performed straight away, others need to wait for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the scan. Some scans are on a different day from the tracer dose. You will be able to leave the department if a delay is needed. We will tell you when to return to the department for images to be taken.

For the scan, you will be asked to lie on a table. Depending on the scan type, the gamma camera may come close to your head and face. Some scans cover the full length of the body, others centre on particular areas, as required. There are sensors in the camera which stop it moving if it touches anything, so it cannot hurt you.

The scans will be analysed by department staff, then a report will be sent to the doctor who referred you for the investigation.

Where to find us

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)
Barrack Road

Nuclear Medicine, Template 1, Area N

Patient information leaflets

Click here to see our patient information leaflets.

Requesting copies of your scans

If you would like copies of your images on disc, please download and complete a Data Protection Act form. Please visit the 'Accessing your Medical Records' page for more information.

Once the signed form is returned to the department, we will process your request - this can take up to 30 days. There is no charge for this service.

Last updated: June 21, 2024.