What is a PET/CT?
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computerized Tomography (CT) are two imaging modalities that create images and when fused together will provide accurate information for diagnosing the presence and extent of cancer as well as the progression of treatment.
In the fight against cancer, PET is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools that detect the function of your cells by how they utilize nutrients like sugar and oxygen. The CT scan then provides a detailed picture of the anatomy of the structures and by fusing them together enables a physician to make an accurate and early diagnosis which leads to a faster start on the best possible treatment while avoiding invasive procedures and exploratory surgery.
When you come to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, be assured that our skilled and compassionate staff of experienced technologists that operate the new state of the art scanner will be dedicated to your care, comfort and safety.
How to prepare for your PET/CT
- Do not eat or drink anything but water for at least 6 hours before your exam because it will affect your blood sugar. Do not chew gum or suck on mints.
- Follow a high protein diet with no carbohydrates or sugar starting at the evening meal the night before your test. This means to eat as much meat and green vegetables as you want but no starches, flour, grains or sugars such as potatoes, rice, breads, candy and chocolate.
- Do not do any strenuous activity, heavy lifting or exercise on the day of your procedure.
- Drink plenty of water on the day of and the day before the exam.
- Continue to take prescribed medication with water on the day of your exam unless otherwise indicated by your physician.
- If you are diabetic, please notify your physician to determine the safest possible way for you to prepare for the exam.
- Patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding must notify staff prior to the exam.
- Wear warm comfortable clothing free of any metal hooks, buttons or zippers. All jewelry, hair pins and clips should be removed prior to the exam.
Getting your results
In most cases, your imaging exam will be interpreted within 24 hours. Please keep in mind that your doctor’s office may need additional time to incorporate the report into your personal medical record.