PET/CT

How long will the test take?

Approximately three hours.

What is the difference between a PET and PET/CT?

A PET/CT scan can be performed two different ways, both providing advantages over a PET alone: 1. A PET/CT scan can use a low level, non-diagnostic CT scan in addition to the PET scan. This can help the doctors to better localize a tumor. 2. It also allows the ability to perform a full diagnostic CT in addition to the PET scan – all at the same time, on the same equipment.

I am claustrophobic…can I still have the scan?

Yes, you can still have the scan. Please inform our staff when making your appointment that you are claustrophobic. You will be required to arrive early for sedation (typically Xanax) and will need a driver. Please allow extra time for the exam and discharge. We will make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible.

Can I bring a friend or family member?

You may bring a friend/family member although they may not accompany you once you receive your injection (including scan). The exception will be in the case of small children.

What are the benefits of a PET/CT scan?

• PET/CT replaces multiple medical testing procedures with a single exam. • PET/CT diagnoses disease often before it shows up on other exams. • PET/CT can determine whether a tumor is benign or cancerous. • PET/CT shows all the organ systems of the body in a single exam, so it can indicate whether or not cancer has spread. • PET/CT shows the progress of disease and how the body responds to treatment. • PET/CT reduces or eliminates ineffective or unnecessary surgical or medical treatments. Physicians use PET/CT to determine the extent of the disease, the effectiveness of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery and possible recurrence. PET/CT scanning can provide early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that might otherwise be obscured by scar tissue that results from surgery and radiation therapy.

How is the PET/CT scan conducted?

After your arrival and check-in, you will be given water to drink. If you are receiving sedation, you will not receive water. You will then be taken to the PET/CT area where you will be weighed, your blood sugar checked, and you will be interviewed by one of the PET/CT technologists. A medic or technologist will also start an I.V., have you empty your bladder, and have you change into a gown if you are wearing any clothing containing metallic objects. After these preparations, you will be taken to a quiet area called an uptake room. Here you will be made comfortable in a recliner and receive the injection of the radioisotope. After injection, you will rest quietly for 60 minutes during the uptake phase. When uptake is complete, you will get up, empty your bladder, have some more water if necessary, and proceed to the scan room. The scan takes from 30-90 minutes based on what your physician has ordered.

What is a PET/CT scan?

An integrated PET/CT scan is the most advanced imaging technology for the detection and evaluation of cancer. The whole-body scan generates high-resolution images of abnormal activity and its location. Abnormal biological activity often takes place before physical changes are identifiable by other imaging exams such as MRI, CT, X-ray and ultrasound. A PET/CT scan provides images of the entire body, detecting primary and secondary disease earlier and more accurately than any other imaging technology.

Will I receive the results of the scan before I leave?

No. The results of your scan will be sent via fax to the physician who referred you for the scan. In most cases, those results are sent a few days after your scan. Your physician will contact you with the results or you may choose to call them.

Can I take my medications?

All medications are okay except diabetic meds (oral and insulin), Lasix, cough drops, cough syrup or other sugar water meds.

Can I eat before my scan?

No. You may have nothing to eat 6 hours prior to your appointment. Also, no cough drops, cough syrup, breath mints, chewing gum, or the like; not even the “sugar-free” stuff. PET scans also require you to follow a low-carb diet the day prior to your scan. Our scheduling department will provide you with specific information.

What if I have other medical issues, i.e. diabetes?

Please let our schedulers know, and they can have a medic call you with additional prep information.