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PET Scan: General Instructions to Prepare for the Exam

PET scans are often used with CT or MRI scans to help make a better diagnosis or to get more data about a health condition and the progress of any treatment. To make it simpler for you to understand, we have divided the guidelines into Pre, During & Post Scan.

Before the PET scan

  1. Reach the Diagnostic Lab’s Front Desk  ½ hour before your appointment time with an attendant.
  2. Bring your Imaging Consultation form for the test.
  3. Deposit the cost of Radiopharmaceutical (medicine) in advance for the test.
  4. Carry any previous reports, investigations, films, and CD on the day of examination.
  5. Not wear any jewelry and ornaments of metal or nonmetal on the day of examination.
  6. Not bring children or pregnant women along with you.
  7. Avoid any heavy exercises a day before your test.
  8. Fast for 4 – 6 hours before the examination. You can drink water.
  9. You can take your prescribed medicine after consultation with your doctor, with water only.
  10. Carry your diabetic, hypertensive medicines with you, if any.
  11. Follow the instructions given by the medical and paramedical practitioners at the time of the investigation.
  12. Make sure your blood sugar level is in the normal range before the test. As, in case of abnormal blood glucose level at the time of the test, the appointment will be canceled and medicine cost deposited in advance will not be refunded as the half-life of medicine is 2 hours approx.
  13. Inform your doctor about any health related issues such as Hypertension/DM/Asthma/Diabetes or any allergies before going for the scan.
  14. The patient should carry the following reports with him – Blood coagulation profile, X-ray/CT films, Kidney Function Test result (especially serum creatinine values), if any.

Also, read about: Frequently Asked Questions on Pet-Scan.

During the PET-CT Scan Test

  1. A nurse/technician will place a small IV cannula in your arm.
  2. You will be escorted to a room where you will be given a prescribed amount of a radioactive tracer (medicine) for the scan.
  3. You will rest for about 45 – 60 minutes while the medicine travels through your body.
  4. During the resting period, you will be under electronic surveillance by the medical staff.

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After the PET scan:

  1. After the test, the patient can get back to his normal routine and diet
  2. Since, during the test, you take in a certain amount of radioactive tracer (medicine) for, It is advisable to drink plenty of water after the test and empty bladder frequently.

Also, read about: Throat Cancer Symptoms To Watch Out For.

Things to Remember for Non-Diabetics

  1. Keep yourself well-hydrated. And, make sure you don’t consume any sugar or caffeine-rich food or drinks for at least 12 hours prior to the test. For example, avoid fruit, fruit juice cold drinks, candy, coffee, desserts etc.
  2. Do not smoke for at least 24 hours

Things to Remember for Diabetics

  1. Your scan will be scheduled for the middle of the day.
  2. Have a light breakfast with your normal diabetic medicine in the morning.
  3. During the 4 hours before your appointment time, do not have anything else except water, not even insulin.
  4. Diabetics must bring their insulin or pills (medicine). Blood sugar will be checked before the scan.
  5. The scan may be canceled if blood sugar level is not within permissible limits.