What is a PET scan?
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an imaging technique that uses gamma rays and a small amount of radionuclide in order to clearly see organs within the body. Because of the use of tracer, PET scans are in the nuclear medicine category.
What are PET scans used for?
PET scans are used to observe metabolic processes within the body which can help diagnose many different diseases. A PET scan can determine your body’s blood flow, oxygen levels in the blood, how much sugar is in the blood, and more.
What can a PET scan find?
PET scans are most commonly used to diagnose different types of cancer, detect issues with the cardiovascular system and neurological system, and potentially catch problems within the central nervous system.
What should I expect?
Prior to your PET scan, you may not eat or drink anything at least six hours before your procedure. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove all jewelry and accessories so no metal can interfere with the scanning equipment. Tracers will be administered either by injection, ingestion, or inhalation. The scan will take place after an hour to allow the body to absorb the tracer. A PET scan takes 30-45 minutes, and you must lie still on the imaging table. The technician may tell you to hold your breath in order to take certain images. You will hear clicks and buzzing noises while you lay on the table. Patients may return to normal activity after the scan and the radioactive tracer should be completely out of your system in a few days.
Who will I hear from afterward?
A trained TRG specialist will collect and interpret your scans and be in touch with your physician.