Wilkes Medical Center adds Nuclear Medicine Camera to Better Serve Patients

December 22, 2021

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Wilkes Medical Center has recently added a new gamma camera to better serve the imaging needs of people in the area.

Wilkes Medical Center adds Nuclear Medicine Camera to Better Serve PatientsThe new camera utilizes SPECT (single-photon emission computerized tomography), a type of nuclear imaging test that uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create 3-D pictures and allows the doctor to analyze the function of internal organs.

“We are proud to be able to provide state-of-the-art technology to our patients,” said Chad Brown, president of Wilkes Medical Center. “This new camera, combined with the outstanding care our team delivers, is a great example of how we are continuing to bring outstanding, award winning care, to Wilkes County and beyond.”

While imaging tests such as X-rays can show what the structures inside the body look like, a SPECT scan produces images that show how the organs work. For instance, a SPECT scan can show how blood flows to the heart or what areas of the brain are more active or less active.

The new GE NM 830 camera provides improved small lesion detectability with no additional time or dose, an important factor for visualizing cancers and metastases.

“The installation of this new gamma camera demonstrates a continued and significant commitment to patient care and quality,” said Jack McLarney, M.D., radiology medical director at Wilkes Medical Center. “This is great technology which helps our excellent staff care for each one of our patients.”

The camera brings state-of-the-art capabilities in molecular imaging to Wilkes Medical Center and serves as an excellent resource for patients in both complex and routine imaging. This nuclear medicine gamma camera combines multiple images to provide precise and clear images and clearly identify complications.

Benefits include:

  • Improved accuracy in diagnosing disease and/or treatment: Providing anatomical superimposition over the area of interest
  • Clearer images: Improved resolution to see organ and disease detail with spatial resolution
  • Improved speed and patient comfort: Scans in under 10 minutes
  • Opportunity for decreased patient dosage: Less radioactivity
  • Increased table limit: Up to 450 to 500 pounds with limit on girth

Common uses include cardiology, endocrinology (parathyroids), oncology, orthopedics, spine and urology.

“Nuclear medicine plays an integral role in identifying potentially life threatening events and illnesses,” said Amy Hayes, imaging director at Wilkes Medical Center. “I’m excited to see advances in this service line that provide exceptional care to all our patients and further enhance our cardiology, oncology and orthopaedic services at Wilkes Medical Center.”

The NM 830 gamma camera has been providing scans to patients at Wilkes Medical Center since the end of October.