What is a PET scan?

A PET scan uses small amounts of radioactive material known as tracers. We also use tracers as part of our nuclear medicine imaging tests. These tracers allow us to view disease processes in the body, such as brain disorders and brain tumors. Our doctors use PET scans to look at your organs from different angles and can detect how the organ is functioning.

What can I expect during my PET scan?

We’ll give you information to help you prepare for your exam, such as dietary requirements before your test. Some tests may require blood work at a separate appointment before your exam. Please bring a list of your current medications to your test appointment, along with any other materials your doctor requests. Most scans are done on an outpatient basis, and if you are pregnant, it’s important to tell your doctor prior to the test.

During the test, you’ll lie on a table, which will slide into the scanner. If your test requires an injection of contrast material, you may feel warm or flushed during the injection. You will have to lie still during the test, and your technologist may ask you to hold your breath at certain points during the exam. This is so we can get the clearest picture possible to accurately diagnose your condition.

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