Frequently Asked Questions


About PET/CT

Q. Is there anything specific I need to do before my PET/CT scan?

A. Yes. Avoid caffeine, sugar, tobacco and heavy exercise for 24 hours before your scan. For six hours prior to the start of the scan, you may not eat or drink anything except water. The last meal you eat before a scan should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. For example, consume steak, baked chicken, eggs, bacon, fish, cheese, etc., and avoid pasta, potatoes, rice and bread. No breakfast should be eaten if your appointment is before noon.

Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor. If you have been advised to take medicine with food, eat nothing more than a few soda crackers within six hours of the start of your exam.

Wear warm, comfortable clothing without metal buckles and bring something to read.

Q. What happens when I arrive at San Antonio Molecular Imaging for the PET/CT scan?

A. After registering, you will go to a preparation area where a technician will start an I.V. line in your arm. A small amount of FDG, a form of glucose, will be injected through the I.V. line. You will be asked to rest quietly without speaking for 30-60 minutes while the FDG is distributed through your body. The scan itself will take 15-45 minutes and is painless.

Q. Will I have to stay at the facility for a while after my scan?

A. No. You can leave immediately and there are no restrictions on your activity following the scan. You may drive, resume your normal diet, exercise, and take any prescribed medications. As a precautionary measure, avoid getting close to an infant or anyone who is pregnant for eight hours immediately following the scan.

Q. Is the scan covered by my insurance?

A. PET scans are covered under Medicare for certain types of cancer. Check with our business office or your carrier for more information.


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