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What to expect during your PET/CT scan?

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What to expect during your PET/CT scan?

   September 12, 2022

   HCG Nasik Team,


PET/CT scan is a highly advanced and useful imaging technique that is used to detect various diseases, including cancer, like lung, breast, and thyroid cancer, brain disorders like dementia, epilepsy, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases, such as heart attack and coronary artery disease. Therefore, it is important to understand how to prepare for the PET/CT scan. The person undergoing a PET/CT scan must have detailed information about the procedure. If you are looking for the best PET/CT scan center in Nashik, you should visit HCG Manavata Cancer Center.

What can you expect before a PET/CT scan?

It is important to get ready before going for a full-body PET scan in Nashik to improve the accuracy of the results.

Once the doctor recommends you to undergo a PET/CT scan, you should discuss the following with the healthcare team:

  • You should provide detailed information to the doctor about the current medications, including herbal supplements and vitamins. You should also ask the doctor if it is ok to take them before or after the PET/CT scan.
  • Inform the doctor about any drug allergies or underlying medical conditions you have.
  • Patients with diabetes require special preparation for PET/CT scans. You should tell your doctor if you are diabetic.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • The doctor may also prescribe medications for comfort if you are claustrophobic or you are afraid of small spaces.
  • If you find comfortable undergoing a PET/CT scan while listening to music, tell your radiologist if it is possible for them to arrange music.

The doctor will inform you in detail about the PET/CT scan’s benefits, risks, and limitations. The staff will ask you to sign the consent form, indicating that you have understood the complete information and are ready to undergo the test. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask your doctor.

  • The doctor may advise you to limit the carbohydrates in your diet at least 24 hours before the PET/CT scan appointment.
  • You are advised to avoid eating or drinking other than water for at least 6 hours before your appointment. Drinking a maximum amount of water till arrival at the hospital is advisable.
  • Unless the doctor advises otherwise, you may take your routine medications. However, if you are diabetic, you should take your diabetic medications at least 4 hours before the examination.
  • Reach the hospital 15-30 minutes before the procedure.
  • The doctor may also advise you to undergo certain laboratory tests before the PET/CT scan. If your sugar level is high, the doctor might reschedule your scan.

What Can You Expect During a PET/CT scan?

You may expect the following during the PET/CT scan:

  • The complete PET/CT scan procedure takes around 2-3 hours.
  • The doctor generally injects the radioactive sugar into the arm through intravenous administration. However, if the radiologist believes that injecting contrast improves the overall image quality, he may also inject the contrast through a similar line.
  • The doctor asks you to sit or lie in a comfortable position for around one hour after receiving the radioactive sugar. Minimize your movement during rest.
  • You will undergo the scanning, which takes around 30 minutes to one hour. During the scanning, the doctor asks you to lie on the table of the machine.
  • The machine has a hole in the middle.
  • Once the test starts, the table slides into the machine.
  • The radiologist will adjust the position of the table according to the image required.
  • He may also ask you to hold your breath to improve clarity.
  • The technician may tilt, raise or lower the table according to the need.
  • You may also ask your queries to the technician who is present in another room controlling the machine.

What Can You Expect After a PET/CT scan?

You may expect the following after the PET/CT scan:

  • The doctor advises you to drink five glasses of water to flush out the radioactive substances.
  • There is no restriction on your diet and medications.
  • Resume breastfeeding 24 hours after the test.
  • Do not drive for at least 4 hours after the PET/CT scan.
  • PET/CT scan is a safe procedure. However, please contact the doctor if you experience any symptoms, such as nasal congestion, nausea, tremor, restlessness, dizziness, rashes, pain, or itchy eyes.

What do your results of the PET/CT scan mean?

PET/CT scan evaluates both normal and abnormal metabolic activities in the body. A PET/CT scan detects metabolic abnormalities in diseases not identified in the other imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scan. Generally, the PET/CT scan results are available within 24 hours. The radiologists, specially trained in PET/CT scans, will evaluate the images and write a report that may be handed over to you or directly sent to the healthcare provider.

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