A PET provides this information by measuring important body functions in our facility, the images created by PET are superimposed with CT (Computed tomography) to produce special views of the areas being scanned. These views allow the information from two different exams to be correlated and interpreted on one image. These images can then be viewed and interpreted by our radiologist on a computer. There are some very important instructions to follow before your exam to ensure accurate study results and interpretation. 24 hours before your exam, you will need to follow a high protein diet (beef, chicken, all seafood, tofu, broth, eggs, hard cheeses, oil, butter, margarine, salad and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and green beans). You will need to avoid carbohydrates, sugar, sugar-containing products, alcohol, coffee, tea, milk, non-dairy milk and yogurt. You should continue your daily medications and do not participate in any strenuous activity or exercise. On the day of your exam, you will need to fast 4 hours before your exam. You may drink water liberally and continue your daily medications. If you are diabetic, you will receive special instructions from our technologist. The technologist will call you the evening before your exam to confirm your appointment. If you do not answer or return the call, the isotope (specialized radioactive material) for your study will not be ordered. Once you arrive for your appointment, our PET technologist will escort you to one of our waiting areas. You will be able to wear your own clothing for this study. Dress warmly in clothing without zippers or buttons. No bras or jewelry. The technologist will give you an intravenous injection containing the radioactive material (also referred to as isotope).
You will experience a mild stinging or burning sensation but will have no side effects. You will be asked to wait in the waiting area for about an hour. Waiting for this length of time allows the radioactive material to accumulate in the organ or area of your body being examined. It gives off a small amount of energy in the form of gamma rays. The special cameras within the PET detect this energy and provide details on the structure and function of your organs and tissues.
About an hour later, the PET technologist will lead you to the scanning room. The PET scanner is a large machine with a round, doughnut-shaped hole in the middle. You will then be scanned from head to thigh, which takes about thirty minutes. After this is done, you will then be scanned on our CT machine. This will take another thirty minutes. Once all of the scanning is completed, our board-certified radiologist will view the results and provide an interpretation. Your healthcare provider will receive a written report within 48-72 hours including details such as blood flow, oxygen use, and sugar (glucose) metabolism.
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