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  • PET/CT Scan

    By combining the functional information of PET imaging with the anatomical detail of CT, our revolutionary Discovery system from GE Healthcare delivers unprecedented diagnostic information for the ultimate in diagnostic confidence and patient care.

    Its accuracy in pinpointing metabolic activity and the exact disease location in one image renders this cutting-edge technology as possibly the greatest advancement in cancer detection and diagnosis in the last 20 years.

    Its ability to combine your patient’s anatomic and metabolic information in one rapid exam – instead of multiple procedures that could take several days or weeks – can reduce the time, expense and anxiety of multiple procedures for your patients.

    The PET/CT makes critical contributions in three primary medical disciplines

    • Oncology
    • Neurology – Alzheimer’s Dementia
    • Cardiology – Assessing myocardial viability

    The GE Discovery PET/CT is at the top cancer hospitals in the nation – MD Anderson, John Hopkins, Duke, Stanford, Mayo Clinic and now it’s available at Westcoast Radiology Imaging.

    About your PET Exam

    You’ve been scheduled to undergo a PET examination

    Please follow these special instructions:

    • Do not eat or drink anything more than water for 4-6 hours before your exam because it could interfere with the results; don’t even chew gum
    • Medications can be taken as usual except those needing to be taken with food
    • If you’ve been advised not to take your medications on an empty stomach, eat nothing more than a few soda crackers within the 4-6 hours of your exam
    • If you are diabetic, let us know ahead of time so we can work with your physician to determine the safest possible way for you to prepare for your exam
    • If you feel feverish, please call this to our attention
    • There are no side effects with this PET exam
    • Hi protein low carb diet 24 hours in advance
    • NOTE TO DIABETICS: Your glucose must be below 200 mg/IC for the exam to be accurate. If above 200 mg/IC, we cannot do the exam at this time

    In addition, please let us know if you might be pregnant or are currently breast-feeding.

    What is PET?

    PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. It ’s a procedure that adds an important new dimension to a physician’s ability to diagnose and manage disease.

    Instead of detecting changes in the physical size or structure of internal organs, as other imaging technologies do, PET detects changes in cellular function – how your cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Since these functional changes take place before physical changes occur, PET can provide information that enables your physician to make an earlier diagnosis. If diseases or abnormalities have already been detected by an imaging exam, such as a CT or MRI study, PET can often characterize the cellular function early in the course of the disease.

    These capabilities can translate into faster initiation of the best possible treatment while avoiding more invasive exams or exploratory surgery.

    Why do I need this exam?

    Your PET exam results may have a major impact on your physician’s diagnosis of a potential health problem – and, should a disease be detected, how your return to health is managed.

    A PET study not only helps your physician diagnose a problem, it also helps your physician predict the likely outcome of various therapeutic alternatives, pinpoint the best approach to treatment, and monitor your progress. If you’re not responding as well as expected, you can be switched to a more effective therapy immediately.

    Just ask your physician what he or she hopes to learn from your PET exam.

    What happens once I get there?

    After reviewing your history and any prior exam, you’ll receive a radiopharmaceutical injection. This is a radioactive tracer that must pass multiple quality control measures before it is used for any patient injection. There are no side effects.

    For most studies, you’ll have to wait for the radiopharmaceutical to distribute itself. Brain studies take 30 minutes. You may be able to read, speak, or listen to music until your scan begins – and perhaps during the scan itself. However, if we’ll be scanning your brain, we will ask you to wait in a quiet, dimly lit room, without stimulating your brain by reading or talking.

    If you’re here for a heart study you may not have to wait. The radiopharmaceuticals used for cardiac exams are often administered just before the scanning begins.

    What will the scan be like?

    You’ll lie on a comfortable table that moves slowly through the ring-like PET scanner as it acquires the information it needs to generate diagnostic images. We’ll ask you to lie very still, because movement can interfere with the results. You shouldn’t feel a thing during the scan, which can last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes. Then, unless the physician sees a need for acquiring additional information, you’re free to leave.

    How long does all this take?

    Your exam procedure will vary depending on what we’re looking for, and what we discover along the way. Plan to spend two to three hours with us.

    How long does all this take?

    Your exam procedure will vary depending on what we’re looking for, and what we discover along the way. Plan to spend two to three hours with us.

    What happens after the exam?

    You may leave as soon as the scan is complete. Unless you’ve received special instructions, you’ll be able to eat and drink immediately – drinking lots of fluids will help remove any of the radiopharmaceutical that may still be in your system.

    In the meantime, we’ll begin preparing the results for review by our radiologist, and then by your physician, who will tell you what we’ve learned.

    Are there risks associated with PET?

    A PET study is similar to many other diagnostic procedures, from CT and MRI to Nuclear Medicine. Although the radiation you receive is different, it’s roughly equivalent to what you’d receive from other diagnostic imaging exams such as CT (a couple of chest X-rays). Radiopharmaceuticals used in PET don’t remain in your system long, so there’s no reason to avoid interacting with other people once you’ve left. To be extra safe, wait for a few hours before getting close to an infant, or anyone who’s pregnant.