Preparation for your PET-CT Scan
When you are scheduling your PET-CT scan, be sure to discuss the following topics with your health care team:
1. Review all the medications you take, including any vitamins or supplements, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines. Ask if you should keep taking them before the scan.
2. Any blood thinner medication you are on, such as Heparin or aspirin.
3. Any medical conditions you have. Any surgeries you have had.
4. Whether you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
5. If you have a glucose pump or a medical infusion pump. (You may need special preparation instructions.)
6. Any allergies or other medical conditions you may have.
7. If you have diabetes. You may need special preparation if you have diabetes.
8. If you require any special assistance (example: wheelchair, oxygen, etc.) or in a nursing home/facility. Please make the scheduler aware.
9. If you are claustrophobic and don’t like to be in small spaces. If you have any anxiety or a history of claustrophobia we highly recommend asking your referring physician to prescribe anxiety medication for you. Please bring the medication with you to your appointment. A technologist will notify you of the optimal time to take this medication, as there is a minimum waiting period prior to imaging on the scanner. Please note, our department does not supply or prescribe these medications.
The Day Before Your PET-CT Scan
You will need to take specific steps before the scan. Your instructions may be slightly different depending on where your exam takes place, so please follow the specific instructions provided to you from the location where your PET-CT will take place.
These are the general guidelines followed at Sentara facilities:
1. CANCELLATION/RESCHEDULING - If you must cancel for any reason, this must be done at least 12 hours prior to your appointment. This is VERY important as we order an expensive radioactive material specifically for your test. To cancel please call the phone number on the paperwork received from the PET-CT location. We cannot reschedule you after the third missed appointment.
2. No strenuous activity 24-hours prior to your PET-CT scan. This includes NO exercise, yoga, massage or physical therapy and etc.
3. Food - Recommended low-carbohydrate and high-protein meal for 24-hours prior to the scan.
4. It is important that you stay hydrated with only plain, unflavored water. Unless you are on fluid restriction, please drink at least two glasses of plain water.
5. NO Alcohol the evening prior to examination. Alcohol raises blood sugar levels and dehydrates you.
6. Tube Feedings - NO tube feedings at least 8 hours prior to your scan. 10 hours would be optimal, but we understand that not all patients can do this. Please contact your ordering doctor’s office or PET-CT scheduling if you have any questions.