Positron Emission Tomography-Computer Tomography (PET/CT) Scan
A PET/CT, or a positron emission tomography-computer tomography, scan is used to determine a variety of diseases and conditions. This type of combined scan allows your doctor to better diagnose, assess and treat your condition.
How is a PET/CT Scan Different than a CT Scan?
A PET/CT scan is a type of high-resolution imaging technology that combines PET and CT devices to produce a combined picture of your internal organs and cells. The combined image provides a clearer image and more information about your condition than a CT alone.
What Are Common Uses for a PET/CT?
A PET/CT scan is performed to:
- Detect and help make a cancer diagnosis
- Determine if cancer has spread in the body
- Define the stage of cancer
- Classify size and growth
- Decide best form of treatment
- See if treatment is working
- Identify the right place for a biopsy
- Recognize, if any, new cancer growth once treatment is complete
What Should I Expect During a PET/CT Scan?
Before the scan, you will receive an injection of a radioactive tracer followed by a 90 minute wait time to ensure that the tracer has enough time to reach the right area of the body. A technologist who specializes in doing these scans will perform and guide you through your PET/CT scan and will make you as comfortable as possible. Your appointment time may vary depending on the area of the body scanned.
Once the examination is complete, your images are sent to a radiologist to analyze.
How to Prepare for a PET/CT
When you schedule your appointment, the staff may provide instructions and guidelines to help you prepare for your scan, including:
- Dress in warm, comfortable clothes
- You will be provided with what you may or may not eat the day before/the day of your exam and you may be told to limit or restrict your foods and liquids
- Discuss any medications, allergies and health history with your provider prior to your appointment
- Avoid heavy exercise 24 hours before your appointment
If you have any questions prior to your appointment, contact the scheduling department.
After Your PET/CT Scan
You may resume normal activity after your scan, including driving. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help the radioactive tracer leave your body.
Schedule an Appointment Today
A referral from your provider is required to schedule a PET/CT scan. To schedule an appointment, call (877) 688-6122.