Nuclear Medicine

Who we are

Nuclear Medicine The Nuclear Medicine Department of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is staffed with a team of highly experienced, board certified technologists. Together we are able to provide you with over 120 years of experience. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7:00 until 5:30 and we are available for emergencies 24/7. Our Nuclear Medicine studies are read and interpreted by Dr. William Kuhle, our board certified Nuclear Medicine Radiologist. Together, with the technologists of PeaceHealth Southwest, our goal is to provide you with the excellence in Imaging and customer service that only our team can deliver.

Nuclear Medicine Defined

Nuclear Medicine is just one of the imaging modalities PeaceHealth Southwest has to offer its patients. It does not emit radiation to capture images like an x-ray does. Instead, a radioactive material called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer is injected into your bloodstream in very small, safe doses. Depending on the procedure, it may also be inhaled as a gas, or swallowed.

The radiotracer then finds its way to the specific area of your body that is to be examined and gives off energy in the form of a gamma ray. The Nuclear Medicine camera is a detector specifically designed to pick up these gamma rays. With the help of computers, we are able to visualize both the structures and their functions. Nuclear Medicine focuses more on the how the organs are working, rather than on visualizing the anatomy itself. The areas of interest that appear on the scan are called “hot spots”. Bone scans are a frequently ordered exam, for example, to locate fractures too small to be seen on a regular x-ray. Other reasons to perform a Nuclear Medicine study are to look at the function of the kidneys, gall bladder, thyroid, heart and lungs. We also are able to provide specialized imaging of the lymph nodes and parathyroid.

PET/CT

We also have partnered with Isoscan, LLC to provide our patients with the highest in quality in PET/CT imaging. This is the latest technology which combines the images of CAT Scans with Nuclear Medicine, fusing them together as one image. This type of Nuclear Medicine Imaging is specific in the detection of cancer and Alzheimer’s. It demonstrates disease at the molecular level before it can be detected or seen anatomically.

To schedule a Nuclear Medicine appointment, call 360-514-2161.
To contact a Nuclear Medicine technologist, call 360-514-3856.