A Simple Guide to

PET Scans

Preparing for a PET scan and curious about the journey ahead?

This simplified guide will provide a clear understanding of what to expect during your PET scan appointment.

Table of Contents

Image credit: Sunshine Coast Radiology

What's a PET Scan?

A PET scan, short for Positron Emission Tomography, is a specialised medical test that uses a small amount of safe radioactive material to create images of the inside of your body.

Before the Scan

When you arrive for your PET scan, the friendly healthcare team will assist you.

You might need to avoid eating or drinking for a few hours before the scan, depending on the specific instructions.

They’ll ensure you’re comfortable and prepared for the procedure.

During the Scan

You’ll lie down on a comfy table that moves into a large machine.

A small amount of radioactive material will be injected into your body, which is then detected by the camera as it scans.   

After the Scan

Once the PET scan is complete, you can get back to your regular activities. There’s no need for any special recovery time.

The radioactive material will leave your body naturally. If you are caring for a small child, or breastfeeding, we may ask you to take some minor precautions.

This will be explained to you by the staff.

Results and Next Steps

A doctor will review the PET scan images and share the findings with you.

They’ll explain what they see and discuss any further steps or treatments that may be needed.

Patient Safety

PET/CT procedures are very safe and there have been no reported adverse reactions.

Exposure to low doses of gamma radiation carries an extremely small theoretical radiation exposure risk. However, radiation exposure effects are cumulative in nature.

The contrast media administered for the diagnostic CT scan proceeding the PET scan is an iodine-based contrast. CT contrast is generally safe. Adverse reactions can occur ranging from minor to severe. However, severe reactions are extremely uncommon.

In Summary

Mammography is a simple and important test to keep your breast health in check.

Disclaimer: Please note, if you have any questions or reservations about an upcoming radiology scan, it is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider, who can address your concerns directly. This is general information, not tailored to a specific individual. Please read our Terms and Conditions.