PET/CT Scanning in New Jersey

Combining Two Powerful Imaging Techniques

Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) are two imaging techniques that serve different functions. PET is a nuclear imaging procedure used to detect changes in metabolism, cell function, and chemical reactions in the body, among other things. CT scanning is a more mainstream imaging test that can be used in many contexts.

Atlantic Medical Imaging is equipped with state-of-the-art PET/CT scanning technology. We perform a wide variety of imaging procedures and will address any questions or concerns you have about the test.

Preparing for PET/CT

You will have to prepare for a PET/CT scan the same ways you would for both a nuclear medicine procedure and CT scan. It is helpful to get a written list of instructions from your doctor.

PET/CT scan preparations include:

  • Fast for four to six hours before your exam. You can have some water, but even chewing gum or sucking on a hard candy can interfere with the results.
  • Please tell us ahead of time if you are diabetic so that we can work with your primary care provider to determine if a PET/CT scan is safe for you.
  • It is safe to take certain medications before the test, but only with small sips of water.
  • Please inform us if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What to Expect

PET/CT tests are painless and mostly noninvasive, though some patients will need to have an IV catheter inserted into their vein, which can be painful. When the nuclear material has reached the designated area, a CT scan will be performed. When the CT scan is over, a PET scan will take place. The entire process can take several hours.

Since no sedation is required for the procedure, you should be safe to drive home on your own and resume normal activities. It is recommended you drink plenty of water to flush the radioactive material out of your body. There should not be any other side effects.

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