Preparing for your PET/CT
Please follow these instructions to prepare you for your PET/CT exam. Proper preparation is the key to obtaining optimal PET/CT scan images. Please see instructions below or click here to open up the PDF file - Patient Preparation Form.
Your physician has ordered a PET/CT exam for you. A PET/CT exam is one of the most powerful imaging tools that physicians can use to help diagnose and treat patients with cancer and other diagnoses. The team at PET/CT Imaging at Swedish Cancer Institute is committed to providing you superior service. You can rest assured that this facility will meet the highest level of patient safety standards and image quality.
72 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PET/CT EXAM
• If you are diabetic, let the PET/CT coordinator know as soon as possible. If you have diabetes, track your blood glucose levels for three days prior to your procedure. Whenever possible, we would like your blood sugar to be below 150 mg/dl.
• If you are claustrophobic and need anti-anxiety medications while having the procedure done, please be sure to arrange to obtain a prescription from your own physician beforehand so you can bring the medication with you. We are not able to provide it for you on the day of your procedure.
48 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PET/CT EXAM
• No strenuous exercise (aerobic, weight-lifting, treadmill, etc.) for 48 hours prior to your procedure
24 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PET/CT EXAM
• High fat, high-protein, no starch (no sugar) diet 24 hours before the procedure (no food 12 hours prior to your exam)
DIETARY PREPARATIONS - MENU EXAMPLES
Do NOT eat:
Bread, pastry, cereal and pasta
Fruits (no tomatoes)
Desserts, muffins, crackers, candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream, yogurt, jams, jellies and honey
Soft drinks, milk, soy milk, tonic water, juices, beer and other alcoholic beverages
Starchy vegetables (rice, potatoes, corn, lima beans, soy beans (edamame), parsnips and peas)
You may eat:
Meats (beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish) and tofu; do not use sweet sauces and do not bread the meat
Eggs prepared without milk
Cheese, butter, mayonnaise and unsweetened peanut butter
Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, green beans and cauliflower)
Nuts, excluding honey roasted
• No common cold medications 24 hours beforehand
• Please let us know 24 hours or more if you need to reschedule your exam. This is important because a radiopharmaceutical is ordered specifically for your procedure at your scheduled appointment time. The radiopharmaceutical rapidly decays so that at some point it can no longer be used.
12 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PET/CT EXAM
• DO NOT eat anything for 12 hours prior to your procedure
• Consume only water for 12 hours prior to your arrival at the PET/CT center. That means no food, gum, breath mints, coffee, tea or anything with calories
• All necessary medications may be taken with water (if you are diabetic please check with our PET/CT coordinator before taking diabetes medication).
• No smoking or use of nicotine products for preferably 12 hours or at least four hours before arrival. If you take medication containing nicotine, let your PET/CT coordinator know immediately, call 206-215-6487.
DAY OF YOUR EXAM
• Unless directed otherwise, take all of your usual medication with water the morning of your procedure, and bring your list of current medications with you to your appointment.
• PLEASE ARRANGE TO BE HERE AT YOUR CHECK-IN TIME. If you are late, your appointment may have to be rescheduled. This is important because a radiopharmaceutical is ordered specifically for your procedure at your scheduled appointment time. The radiopharmaceutical rapidly decays so that at some point it can no longer be used.
• Plan on being here approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours (scan times vary from 20-60 minutes depending on your doctor’s orders)
• Wear warm, loose-fitting clothing without metal (i.e., zippers, snaps, buttons, clasps and metal under-wire); please leave all jewelry/watches at home.
• You may bring CDs or an MP3 player to listen to relaxing music during your wait period. Reading and other activities are NOT allowed.
• Family members and/or friends may accompany you to your appointment; however, they will be asked to leave prior to the injection for the exam.
• A radiopharmaceutical will be administered through an I.V. Following the injection, you will rest in a private room for 45 to 60 minutes
• You drink oral contrast during a one-hour wait period; the oral contrast may cause you to have loose stools
AFTER YOUR EXAM
• Drink plenty of fluids for the rest of the day to clear out any residual radiopharmaceutical from your body
• Resume your regular diet
• You may experience loose stools from the oral contrast
• Your images will be interpreted by a board certified radiologists and the results will be sent to your physician within 24-48 hours. You will discuss the results with your physician.
If you have any questions, please call us at 206-215-6487 and we’ll be happy to assist you.
PET/CT Imaging at Swedish Cancer Institute1221 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
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