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Patient Instructions

  • PET CT Positron Emission Tomography

Patient Instructions - Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Computed Tomography (CT )

A PET/CT scan utilizes a glucose (sugar) tracer to obtain a metabolic scan of the body. In many cancers, metabolic changes occur before tumor masses form. As a result, combining the technology of PET and CT can often identify the presence of disease earlier than other exams. This exam is not performed on pregnant women.

Before your Procedure

  • Do not do any heavy exercise (jogging, aerobics, shoveling snow or other workouts), 24 hours before your exam. Exercise will make your pictures less accurate.

  • Do not eat or drink (except for water) for 6 hours before the exam.

  • Do not chew gum or suck on mints.

  • If you need to take your medications with food, you may take them with a few crackers.

  • Your last meal should consist of high protein and low carbohydrate foods.

  • Be well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Other fluids are not permitted.

  • Continue taking your normal medications.

  • Patients must have a blood sugar under 200 at the start of the exam. Diabetic patients should take any oral medications needed to ensure this glucose level.

  • Insulin must be held for 6 hours before the exam. If this will be a problem, please call the Nuclear Medicine department at the number listed below.

  • If you must cancel or reschedule your appointment, please do so as soon as possible.

During your Procedure

  • On the day of your exam, wear warm, loose-fitting clothing without metal zippers, snaps or clasps.

  • A technologist will answer any questions you may have the day of the exam.

  • They will check your blood sugar by a small poke in your fingertip.

  • An IV will be started in your arm to administer the FDG (our metabolic tracer).

  • After the injection, you will need to rest quietly in a recliner for 60-90 minutes while the tracer circulates in your body.

  • You will then be asked to empty your bladder before beginning the scan.

  • You will be positioned on a table that passes through the scanner.

  • The scan time is 20-30 minutes.

After your Procedure

  • You may resume your regular diet and activities.

  • Your doctor will be contacted with the results of your test and will discuss the results with you.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider. 

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