PET scan or Positron emission tomography is a diagnostic imaging test that enables physicians or doctors to look for diseases in your body. This scan utilizes a special dye that contains radioactive tracers that are inejcted into a vein in your arm. Tissues and organs are able to absorb the tracer allowing for the exam to be successful.
A PET/CT scan combines a PET scan (positron emission tomography) with a CT scan (computed tomography) all in one machine. This marvelous exam reveals important information about both the structure and function of tissues and cells in the body, all in one single diagnostic imaging session.
PET/CT scan studies have shown to be very useful in the areas of cancer/oncology (detection of cancer or benign vs. malignant tumors), neurology (diagnosis of seizure disorders), and cardiology (assesment of heart).
A PET SCAN or PET/CT scan is used quite often by oncologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons. However, as this technology has advanced, this exam is now used in many different areas. If your doctor or physician has ordered this test for you, we can assist in providing you the best diagnostic imaging exam and care available.
Generally, a PET scan or PET/CT scan can be performed on an outpatient basis. Specific protocols may vary, but usually a PET scan follows this process:
1. You will be brought into a private room where you will be given a hospital gown and asked to remove all clothing and jewelry as this can interfere with the scan.
2. You will be asked to go to the bathroom and empty your bladder prior to the procedure.
3. One or more (IV) lines will be started in the arm or hand for injection of the radiotracer
4. The radiotracer will be injected into your IV.
5. Once the radiotracer has been absorbed for the appropriate length of time, the scan will commence. The scanner table will then begin to move slowly in order for the body part that is being studied to be properly scanned.
The PET scan itself is painless, but having to lie still for the procedure duration may be uncomfortable so our technicians will use any comfort measures available.
We ask that before you arrive to our center for a PET scan or PET/CT scan, you do not eat or drink (except water), for at least 4 hours prior to your scan. You are free to take your regularly scheduled medications. You should also wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and avoid wearing jewelry.