Information You Need To Know Prior Your PET/CT Scan | Sentara Healthcare
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Information You Need To Know Prior Your PET/CT Scan 

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You have been scheduled for a PET/CT examination at our mobile facility. Below is some important information to remember as you prepare for your test.

Be on Time: It is very important that you show up 15-30 minutes early for your scan to fill out paperwork. The tracer that you will be injected with is ordered just for you and since it is radioactive it will decay away. If you are more than 30 minutes late for your scan, you will have to be rescheduled.

Cancelations: If you must cancel for any reason, this needs to be done by 4:00 p.m. the day before your scan. This is very important as we order an expensive radioactive material specifically for you. To cancel or reschedule please call Sentara Central Scheduling. If you are unable to make your exam and do not cancel with central scheduling, we cannot reschedule you after the third missed appointment.

Food and Drink: Do not eat or drink anything except for non-flavored water for at least six hours prior to your appointment time. This includes gum, mints, candy and Nicorette gum. You may have as much water as you want.

Tube Feedings: Please stop all tube feedings at least six hours prior to your scan. Eight to ten hours would be optimal, but we understand that not all patients can do this.

Diabetes: Do not take your diabetic medications for six hours before your test. We will test your blood sugar before the scan; it should be no greater than 200 mg/dL or your scan will have to be rescheduled.

Medications: You may take your regularly scheduled medications, except for diabetic medications and steroids, with water prior to arriving for your scan. Due to new regulations, no medication can be taken once you arrive on premise. If any of your medications must be taken with food, ask your doctor whether you should skip your morning dose, take it later in the day, or take it without food on the day of your scan. Please bring a list of your current medications with you to your appointment.

Prior Scans: If you have had any prior CTs, MRIs or bone scans that were not performed at a Sentara facility, please bring a copy of these with you on a disc or film. Not having these with you can delay the reading of your scan up to two weeks.

If you have any anxiety or a history of claustrophobia, it might be wise to ask your referring physician to prescribe a sedative or muscle relaxer for you. Please remember to fill the prescription and take it prior to coming to your appointment.

Pregnancy/Breastfeeding: If there is any chance that you could be pregnant or if you are currently breastfeeding, please call the PET/CT technologist before your exam at (757) 213-5791.

Procedure: Upon arriving at the PET/CT center, you may receive a contrast drink for the CT portion of your exam. Then the technologist will administer an injection through an IV line of radioactive glucose (18F-FDG), which will take approximately one hour to distribute throughout your body. You may be given some more of the contrast to drink and will be asked to empty your bladder. The technologist will have you lie down on the scanning bed. The actual imaging time is approximately 25-45 minutes, depending on the type of scan you are having. It is important that you lie still during this process. You should plan on being at the PET/CT center for approximately two to three hours.

After your Scan: Once the PET/CT scan is complete, you will be able to leave and resume normal activities. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Your PET/CT Scan results: The PET/CT scan is interpreted by a trained radiologist. The results are sent to your referring physician within two to three days. Your ordering physician will provide you with the results.

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