Ascension Sacred Heart will be the first to offer nuclear medicine in Gulf/Franklin counties

Gulf County

GULF COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Advancements are continuing to be made in the field of medicine. Ascension Sacred Heart is becoming the first health care facility in Gulf and Franklin County to offer nuclear medicine.

This type of technology helps diagnose heart diseases and provides imaging of problem areas in the body.  

“The way nuclear medicine differs, for most cases, radioactive traces are ingested in the form of a meal or a capsule. There are no reactions or side effects to the tracers. Once the patient is positioned underneath the camera, we can follow the tracer throughout the organ of interest,” said Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Edward Vangelder.

But this type of medicine doesn’t only exist for heart issues.

“We can follow the function of any organ in the body, so we can be a great asset to anybody that has concerns regarding liver function, gallbladder function, kidneys, every organ in the body,” said Vangelder.

Nuclear medicine helps doctors to get a more complete picture of the patient’s health– from the inside out.

“The clinician can see if that organ functions or works at a normal pace or abnormally,” said Vangelder.

Staff at their facility are excited to be able to expand their services to those who need it most.

“The residents here and then surrounding areas no longer have to incur the time and expense to travel to have a nuclear medicine service performed. Where we are really making an impact as far as cardiology goes. Looking for arteries, coronary arteries that have become hardened or even blocked,” said Vangelder.

This will allow clinicians to make more informed decisions in treating any potential diseases in the body.

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