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PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography)

The Procedure

You can expect to be in the PET center for two to three hours. The actual scan itself takes far less time. To begin the procedure, a small amount of radioactive glucose is injected into your blood stream through a small IV started by the technologist. There is no danger to you from this injection. Glucose (also known as sugar) is a common substance every cell in your body needs to function. The radiation exposure associated with PET is similar to a conventional CT scan.

After the injection, you will wait 60-90 minutes, while the injected glucose is distributed throughout your body. During this time, you will be asked to rest quietly and avoid significant movement or talking, which may alter the localization of the administered substance.Then, you will be asked to lie on the table that passes slowly through the scanner. The scanner resembles a CT scanner, but has a much larger opening. Some people fall asleep during the scan. The scan may take 30 to 45 minutes.

Usually, there are no restrictions on daily routine after the test, although you should drink plenty of fluids to flush the radioactive substance from your body.

  • A nurse or technologist will take the patient into a special injection room, where the radioactive substance is administered intravenously.
  • It will then take approximately 60 to 90 minutes for the substance to travel through the body and accumulate in the tissue under study.
  • During this time, you will be asked to rest quietly and avoid significant movement or talking, which may alter the localization of the administered substance.
  • After that time, scanning begins.
  • The scan may take 30 to 45 minutes and the entire exam can take up to two hours.
  • Usually, there are no restrictions on daily routines after the test, although you should drink plenty of fluids to flush the radioactive substance from your body.

How Will I feel afterward?

You will be able to do normal activities after your scan. There are no side-effects from the injected radioactive glucose.

The Results

The radiologist will review the images and send a report to your physician. Our goal is to complete the interpretation within 48 hours of completion of exam.

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