A PET-CT scan combines a CT scan and a PET scan in order to provide more detailed information about your condition. The CT scan produces a series of X-rays then uses a computer to put them together. A PET scan uses a very small amount of radioactive drug to show how body tissues are working.

Please advise us beforehand

These tests utilise a radioactive injection so it’s very important to let us know if you are/or may be pregnant or currently breastfeeding.

Please also let us know on booking your appointment if you have previously had any reactions to radioactive injections.


Please bring your referral, Medicare and/or Pension Health Care Card and any previous imaging relating to the region being scanned.

When you contact us to make your appointment, we will give you thorough instructions for your test. In general, with a PET/CT scan, you should not have anything to eat for about 6 hours beforehand (you may drink water). You may be told not to do any strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the scan. Unless you are told otherwise, you should carry on taking any medicines prescribed for you by your doctor.

What happens during the procedure

On arrival you may be asked to change into a gown. You will also need to remove all jewellery and any other metallic objects.

The radiographer will insert a small tube (cannula) into one of the veins in the back of your hand or arm. A radioactive drug (tracer) is then injected. After resting for an hour (this allows the tracer to go throughout your body) you’ll be taken into the scanning room for your CT. You need to stay as still as possible throughout the scanning process which takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

How long does it take?

A PET/CT takes between 30 – 60 minutes, dependent on which area of your body are being scanned.

After your examination

Upon completion of the scan, you’ll be able to go home. You can immediately return to normal activities however, it is best to minimise close contact with others (especially pregnant women, babies and small children) for up to 24 hours. Please drink plenty of water to help flush the radiation out of your system.

Your images and report

As there is a large amount of data to be processed, your results will not be ready straight away. We will advise you at the completion of your appointment when they will be delivered to your referring Doctor.

PRP will store digital copies of all studies on our secure database for comparison with any future examinations.

Please bring any previous images with you for comparison.

It is important that you return to your doctor for your examination results. Whether they are normal or abnormal, your doctor needs to know promptly so that a management plan can be formulated.

Special precautions

Allergic reactions to contrast material can occur but significant reactions are rare, and generally respond to adrenalin. Our staff members are equipped and trained to treat contrast reactions. Some scans create a slight sensation of heating. There are no adverse effects to the magnetic fields or radio waves used to generate the images.

Please also advise on booking if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Special instructions for diabetics

If you are diabetic, you should contact us a couple of days before your appointment. You may need to adapt your diet and sugar control routine a little.