PET Scan or PET/CT Scan

You have been scheduled for a PET or PET/CT scan, which involves the use of a small amount of radioactive material. The level of radioactivity used is low and has no side effects.

Preparation for the procedure:
You are asked to not have any products containing sugar for twenty four hours prior to your arrival. Also we ask that you have nothing to eat for six hours prior to your arrival. It is OK to drink water prior to the test. Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or breast feeding. The imaging may be changed, or special instructions given based upon that information.

Sample diet:
Foods Recommended: leafy green vegetables, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, lean meats, chicken, fish, cheese, tofu, eggs, natural peanut butter, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free soda, broth-based soups, oils, butter, margarine, teas, and coffee (no sugar added), herbs, spices, vinegar.

Foods to Avoid: sodas, chocolates, candy, fruits, juices, breads, cereals, rice, pasta, carrots, potatoes, peas, milk.

What to expect PET:
Once in the injection room you will be sitting in a chair and the technologist will place an IV in a vein in your arm. We will ask you to relax and then you will receive an injection of radioactive glucose through the IV. You will then wait approximately thirty to forty five minutes before your scan begins. The PET machine looks similar to a MRI but is more open. You will be asked to use the restroom and we will begin the imaging. For the imaging you will by lying on your back on a table. This image goes from your thighs to mid head. This image takes forty five minutes to one hour. It is critical that you remain still and breathe normally during the scan.

What to expect PET or PET/CT brain: If your doctor only ordered an image of your head/brain then you do not need to follow all the pretest instructions. Please just do not have anything to eat for two hours prior to your arrival. Also, your scan time is only twenty minutes because we will only be taking an image of your brain.

What to expect PET/CT:
Once in the injection room you will be sitting in a chair and the technologist will place an IV in a vein in your arm. We will ask you to relax and then you will receive an injection of radioactive glucose through the IV. You will then wait approximately thirty to forty five minutes before your scan begins. The PET/CT machine looks similar to a CT but has a PET scanner integrated into it (attached to the back). You will be asked to use the restroom and we will begin the imaging. For the imaging you will by lying on your back on a table. This image goes from your head to mid thighs. The CT image is taken first. This image is used for localizing anything seen on the PET scan and also as a correction factor for the PET image. Once the CT is complete the bed will move you to the PET portion of the machine and the PET scan will begin. This image takes thirty to forty five minutes. It is critical that you remain still and breathe normally during the scan because the PET and CT images are combined together.

The images will be reviewed and the results will be sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Your questions and comments:
call (805) 563-5870.

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