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  • What to Expect During Your PET Scan

  • On the day of the exam, wear comfortable clothes and take any prescribed medications unless instructed not to do so by your physician. Please let the staff members know what medications you have taken prior to your scan. We will ask you to remove jewelry that might interfere with your scan, so it might be better to leave valuables at home.


    Before The Scan

    You will be injected with a radioactive tracer. The radiation exposure associated with a PET scan is safe and lower than that associated with conventional CT scanning. Once injected, you will be asked to rest for approximately forty-five minutes while the compound distributes throughout your body and is processed by the organs being evaluated. The technologist will ask you to lie on the imaging table, which will then slowly pass through the PET scanner.


    During the scan

    The technologist will leave the room during the scan, but can see you at all times from the observation window in the adjoining room and will remain in voice communication with you throughout the scan. It is important for you to lie as still as possible. If you are having a brain scan, we may fit a lightweight mask to help keep your head still.

    You will be in the PET scanner room for approximately forty-five minutes; the scan itself will take just over thirty minutes. Most patients can expect to be at the hospital for a little over two hours. This includes the time needed for the injected tracer to distribute throughout the body, as well as the time you spend moving through the PET scanner.


    After the scan

    Following the scan, you should feel fine. You can resume normal activities once the scan is complete. To help eliminate the tracer from your body, drink plenty of fluids.



    Your PET scan will be reviewed by a board-certified, nuclear medicine physician. The physician will send a report to your physician, who will give you the results of the scan.

    If you have questions, please call 401-444-7383.