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PET/CT Scan Preparations Explained by Hill Medical

What preparations are necessary for the PET/CT scan?

Depending on the type of PET/CT study ordered by your physician, typically you will be asked not to eat or drink anything except water for six hours prior to your exam. You may take any prescribed medications on the day of your exam unless instructed by your physician not to do so. If possible, try to wear loose-fitting clothes on the day of your scan, arrive on time, and avoid strenuous activity 24 hours in advance of your study. Engage in only minimal physical activity on the day of the exam.

During the PET/CT scan, all you have to do is relax, and lie as still as you can. You will first receive a small injection of a radiopharmaceutical contrast about 60 minutes before the actual scan. It will not make you feel any different. Depending on the type of study, you may also receive a contrast medium at the time of the CT portion. This is a dye that increases the quality of the CT scan images. The contrast medium may be administered orally, or by injection, or both. Some patients report a warm feeling or an unusual taste in their mouth from the contrast medium.

Should I tell the PET/CT technologist about my medical history?

Yes. Before you are given a radiopharmaceutical or a contrast medium, be sure to tell the technologist if you have allergies, asthma, heart problems, diabetes and kidney problems; if you think you might be pregnant; or if you are currently undergoing any radiation therapy.

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