PET CT

How to Prepare for Your Gallium Scan

IMPORTANT: Due to the rapidly changing coronavirus COVID-19 situation, please review this information before visiting any Lifespan facility or outpatient practice for an appointment or procedure. If needed, please call 401-444-7777 to reschedule your appointment.

  • If you are, or there is a chance you are, pregnant or if you start breastfeeding, please call the PET/CT department in advance of your scan day: 401-444-7777.
  • If at all possible, avoid unnecessary or prolonged contact with young children and pregnant women for 8 hours after your scan has been completed. 

You should not receive somastatin/octreotide injections  (LAR Sandostatin or LAR Somatuline) for at least four weeks prior to your gallium PET/CT scan.

The Day Before Your Gallium PET/CT Scan

It is important that you stay well hydrated. Unless you are on fluid restriction, please drink at least 8 glasses of plain water.

All other medications can be taken as prescribed.  

On the Day of Your Scan

If the patient is a child who is having sedation during the appointment, stop all solid food six hours before the appointment and stop all liquids two hours before the appointment.

Unless you are on fluid restriction, please drink at least two glasses of plain water prior to your appointment. 

Try to stay warm on the day of your scan.  If possible, do not wear clothing with belts, zippers, snaps or metal of any kind to your appointment.  Women should try to wear a bra without underwires or clips (sports bra).

If you have favorite music, please bring it with you to listen to while your scan is going on.

What to Expect the Day of Your Gallium PET/CT Scan

The technologist will escort you to the injection room and go over your detailed history.

Next the technologist will start an intravenous line and administer a radiopharmaceutical injection.

After the injection you will be given one cup of an oral barium contrast to drink. You will rest quietly in a reclining chair for 60 minutes.  Twenty minutes prior to the start of your scan you may be given another cup of the oral barium contrast to drink.

You will be asked to empty your bladder just before your scan.

Most PET/CT scans take between 15 minutes and 35 minutes.

Please Note: If you have not followed the specific instructions prior to your test your scan will need to be rescheduled.

After Your Gallium PET/CT Scan

For several hours following your scan, continue to hydrate to help the radiopharmaceutical and oral barium contrast pass out of your body.

How PET CT works »