What to Expect

During The Exam

  • The duration of the exam will vary, but the average time you should expect to be at the imaging center is about 90 minutes.
  • The technologist will position you on the exam table and give you instructions to remain still or to hold your breath.
  • You will have the opportunity to ask the technologists questions.┬áThe scanning device is a large machine with a donut-shaped hole in the middle. When the exam starts, the table slides quickly through the hole. This first pass shows the technologist if you are in the right body position to get the needed images. Then, the table slides slowly back and forth. You will need to stay still. Sometimes, the technologist may ask you to hold your breath. This prevents blurry pictures from the movement of your body breathing. The technologist might raise, lower, or tilt the table during the scan. This helps get pictures from different angles.
  • The PET/CT scan will take approximately 20 minutes (45 minutes for PET/CT Axumin scans).
  • During the exam, you will be able to talk with the technologist, who will be in a nearby room monitoring your test through a window.

After the PET/CT Scan

  • After the PET-CT scan, you can return to your usual diet and activities. This includes driving. Drink lots of water. It helps wash any leftover radioactive substance and dye out of your body.
  • Nursing mothers should wait for 24 hours before resuming breast-feeding.
  • The scan results will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist, and the report will be sent to your doctor typically the same day, but no later than the next weekday.