Patients will check in at Providence Imaging Center's front desk when they arrive and will be given a short questionnaire to complete. If the patient will be premedicated with a sedative to relax during the scan, the name and contact number of the patient's driver will be confirmed at this time. The patient will also hand over any films or image CDs, such as MRI, CT, or nuclear medicine images from other facilities when they check in.
The patient will then be escorted to the PET-CT area.
The Injection room is the next stop, where the patient may receive some medication to help relax and a bottle of oral CT contrast to drink. The technologist will start an IV in the patient's hand or arm to administer the radioactive isotope and the patient will relax in a recliner for an hour. It is important that the patient limit the amount of sensory stimulation and muscle activity during this time so that the isotope only localizes in the abnormal areas of the body.
The patient is then moved to the PET-CT scan room. The PET-CT scanner is a large ring-shaped device with an attached table. The patient will lie very still on the scanning table, which will slide slowly through the opening in the scanner ring. The technologist will give the patient specific instructions on how to breathe during the test. The scan takes about 30 minutes.
The patient will be escorted to the waiting area to meet the person who will be taking him/her home (if an oral sedative was administered). The patient can eat and drink normally after the exam and resume normal activities, but should maintain distance from pregnant women and small children for six hours following the appointment.