PET / CT SCANS

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and CT is a state-of-the-art imaging tool that allows physicians to pinpoint changes within the body on a molecular level. PET/CT scans are used to determine the extent of disease, determine the location of disease for biopsy, surgery or treatment planning and to assess the effectiveness of treatments. PET/CT can also be used to avoid invasive diagnostic procedures.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a powerful device that can detect and stage cancer, heart disease and brain disorders by highlighting cells within the body. A very minute amount of radioactive material is administered prior to your exam, which then adheres to areas of the body that are sick or degenerating. When you combine this method of “marking” the diseased parts of the internal body with CT scans, your result is some of the most high-tech imaging you can get within the human body.

Generally, you will be asked not to eat prior to your exam. We may have you dress in a gown. You will be asked to use the restroom prior to the procedure.

After administration of the radioactive material, you will need to wait for 30 to 60 minutes for your body to absorb and disperse the material. Next, you will lie down on a table which slides into a “tube.” The test itself is not painful in any way but does require you to lie still for the entire procedure, which may take up to 30 minutes.

Individuals with claustrophobia should speak to their doctor prior to their exam. Medications such as sedatives can help to alleviate anxiety during the procedure.

You may return to normal activities afterwards. If you desire, you may drink extra fluids to help the kidneys remove the contrast materials from your body more quickly.

The amount of radioactive material that is used is too low to alter the normal functions of your body. Talk to your doctor if you are or may be pregnant, as alternative imaging may be suggested.

PREPARE FOR YOUR PROCEDURE
  • NPO (nothing to eat or drink) six hours prior to scheduled exam except water
  • Last meal should be high protein and low carbohydrate
    • Avoid bread, pasta, cereals, grains, fruit, candy and other high carbohydrate/sugar foods
  • May drink Water
    • Encouraged to drink approximately 32 ounces of water about one to two hours prior to PET exam
    • May take morning medications-with water only (a few soda crackers if necessary)
    • No chewing gum the day of the exam
  • Avoid physical activity for 24 hours prior to exam
    • Such as heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, etc.
  • Bring outside films and reports (such as CT's and MRI's) if applicable
    • Ask ordering physician to fax history and progress notes
  • Plan on at least two hours for exam
  • 3rd party insurance approval is needed before scheduling exam
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing, avoid metallic objects, such as zipper, belts, and bra hooks
  • Table weight limit is 400 pounds
  • If you are claustrophobic alert ordering doctor so they may prescribe a sedative to take prior to exam (if taking sedative please arrange for a ride home after exam)
  • It is extremely important to arrive on time for your exam or to cancel as far in advance as possible the FDG (medication used for study) has to be ordered and is only viable for a certain amount of time

The following are suggested Diabetic Patient Preparation Protocols. These guidelines should not be considered a substitute in any way for consultation with your health care provider.  This is just a general guideline and may not be applicable to each diabetic individual undergoing a PET scan.

*The goal is to have the patient arrive with a stable blood sugar level below 200mg/dl

Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetic Patients (patients on oral diabetic medications such as Glucophage)

  • Eat light, low carbohydrate meal a minimum of 4 hours prior exam time
  • Nothing to eat or drink after light meal
  • Take Glucophage or other diabetic medication as usual
  • Bring Diabetic Medications to PET appointment
  • Plan two hours for the PET exam
  • No chewing gum the day of the exam
  • Avoid physical activity for 24 hours prior to exam
        -Such as heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, etc.
  • Bring outside films and reports (such as CT's and MRI's) if applicable
         -Ask ordering physician to fax history and progress notes
  • Plan on at least two hours for exam
  • 3rd party insurance approval is needed before scheduling exam
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing, avoid metallic objects, such as zipper, belts, and bra hooks
  • Table weight limit is 400 pounds.
  • If you are claustrophobic alert ordering doctor so they may prescribe a sedative to take prior to exam (if taking sedative please arrange for a ride  home after exam)
  • It is extremely important to arrive on time for your exam or to cancel as far in advance as possible the FDG (medication used for study) has to be ordered and is only viable for a certain amount of time

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Understanding Your Health Insurance

 

Understanding your health insurance options can be confusing. At Divine Savior Healthcare you can speak with Concierge Services or Prior Authorization Specialists to help ease the burden of understanding your healthcare coverage.

 

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