A PET/CT scan combines two sets of information about your condition. The PET scan uses a very small amount of radioactive tracer, often a form of sugar, to show how body tissues are working and the CT scan shows the structure of the body.
Please advise us beforehand
Please make staff aware if
- you are or think you could be pregnant.
- you are breastfeeding, claustrophobic and/or if you are the primary/sole carer for small children when you book your appointment.
- you have had any reactions to injections used for imaging.
- you are diabetic. You will be instructed the day before your appointment to adapt your diet.
When you contact us to make your appointment, we will give you thorough instructions for your test.
For PET/CT scanning, you
- should not have anything to eat for about 6 hours before your scan.
- will need to drink 1 litre of water prior to the scan. You may empty your bladder as necessary.
- should not do any strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the scan.
- should continue taking any medicines prescribed for you by your doctor.
How long does it take?
A PET/CT takes between 75–120 minutes, depending on which areas of your body are being scanned.
It is recommended to wear warm clothing with no metal on the day of the test. It is best to remove all jewellery and any other metallic objects prior to the test, preferably whilst at home.
The radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in your hand or arm. You will be taken into the scanning room after resting for an hour to allow time for the tracer to be taken up by your body. You need to stay as still as possible throughout the scanning process which takes between 15–45 minutes.
After your examination
You can immediately return to normal activities, but you should minimise close contact with others (especially pregnant women, babies and small children) for up to 12 hours.
Please drink plenty of water to help flush the radiation out of your system.
Your images and report
All images for your study will be available on the myPRP patient portal soon after your examination is complete. A report that includes a link to your study will be sent directly to your referring doctor. PRP Imaging will store digital copies of all studies on our secure database for comparison with any future examinations.
Normal and abnormal studies are both important for your management and PRP Imaging encourages you to return to your doctor for review of the results.
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.