Nuclear medicine is a specialized branch of radiology that uses small amounts of radioactive material, also referred to as radionuclide, radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer, to investigate the structure and function of organs in the body. Because nuclear medicine permits physicians to visualize biological activity at the molecular level, the technology in many cases can help identify disease at earlier stages than is otherwise possible, and can help track a patient’s response to treatment in near real time. Northwell Health nuclear medicine specialists diagnose and evaluate a wide variety of diseases, including many types of cancer; heart disease; gastrointestinal, endocrine and neurological disorders; and other conditions. Our nuclear medicine specialists also use radioactive material to treat certain diseases, including the overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and certain cancers.
Our nuclear medicine division emphasizes quality, caring and full integration into the medical and surgical care provided throughout Northwell Health.
- Our nuclear medicine physicians are subspecialists, trained in nuclear medicine. They focus exclusively on interpreting nuclear medicine exams and performing therapeutic procedures using nuclear medicine. Sub-specialization allows physicians to develop a deeper knowledge of their area of focus, which studies show tends to increase accuracy and decrease errors in study interpretation, reducing the need for repeat studies and promoting improved outcomes.
- Our technology provides highly precise, accurate images. The most important modalities are gamma (SPECT) cameras and positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, specialized devices that detect the signals emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals administered to patients. We also use instruments that can perform both radiopharmaceutical and conventional (anatomic) imaging. This hybrid imaging ( PET/CT and SPECT/CT) technology provides important information about both the anatomy and the function of organs and tissue, and is an important diagnostic tool.
- Our radiologists, technologists, and physicists are specifically trained in radiation safety and are committed to limiting your exposure to the lowest dose necessary to make the proper diagnosis.
- Our highly trained and caring technologists and nurses ensure that every image is of the highest possible quality, while helping you feel comfortable throughout the exam. They are always available to answer your questions.
- Our nuclear medicine physicians work closely with oncologists, endocrinologists, pediatricians and other clinical specialists throughout the health system to help develop and manage the most effective treatment plan for you.