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PET/CT (positron emission tomography and computed tomography) is a unique, non-invasive imaging technology that provides a precise view of both the anatomy and the function of the body. It is used to evaluate the effectiveness of cancer therapy and to assist your doctor in adjusting your treatment.

positron emission tomography

Planning ahead:

  • Do not eat or drink anything except plain water for at least six hours before your exam. Take your medications as directed by your doctor.
  • Do not engage in vigorous activity for 24 hours before the exam.
  • If you are diabetic, eat a small meal at least six hours before your exam, and take your insulin, if necessary. Do not eat or drink six hours before your exam. (If you are on long-acting insulin, the fast should be 12 hours before the exam.) The person who schedules your exam will ask you specific questions and give you detailed instructions. Ensure that your glucose levels are within normal limits, or the exam will have to be rescheduled.
  • Plan to arrive at the hospital 2 hours before your exam is scheduled. Ask the scheduler when that is.

Bring with you when you come for your test:

  • Complete list of medications you are currently taking – name and dosage of each medication, and when you take it.
  • Copy of imaging exams (on CD is fine) that were performed at other facilities for comparison. (If you had imaging at other facilities and do not bring copies of the images with you, there may be a delay in getting your exam interpreted since we need comparison images.)
  • Written physician’s order for the test.

On the day of the test:

  • Come in through the main entrance of Mon Health Medical Center and to the Radiology Services registration desk, down the hallway to the right of the main lobby.
  • Plan to be at the hospital for approximately three hours.

During your exam:

  • You will receive a small injection of radioactive tracer. You will rest for 45 to 90 minutes while this tracer moves through your body, then the technologist will take you to the scanner.
  • You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds at various times during the exam. Try to remain still while the exam is in process.

After your exam:

  • After your scan, you may resume your normal activities. The injected tracer will leave your body quickly. To speed up this process, drink plenty of fluids.

Reminder – If you have questions or concerns before, during, or after your procedure, call the Mon Health Radiology Services Department at (304) 285-2200, or ask your nurse or technologist. We need your input, questions, and concerns to provide you with the best care, so don’t hesitate to ask us anything.
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