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What to Expect

Here's what to expect if your physician requests a PET or CT scan for you:
 
Preparation
  • Avoid strenuous activities on the day before and day of your PET/CT exam. Excessive muscular activity may interfere with the interpretation of your exam.
  • No food or drink for 6 hours before your procedure, with the exception of water
  • you may need to take medications. Please refrain from chewing gum as it may 
  • interfere with the results.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, free of metal zippers, snaps, etc.
  • If you are a diabetic, please bring your medication. Make sure our staff is aware of your condition ahead of time. If you take insulin to control your diabetes, you will be scheduled for an early morning appointment, due to the fact that you cannot take your insulin the morning of your exam.
  • Remove all jewelry, hair pins and clips prior to your exam.
  • You may invite a companion to stay with you during the 45 minute "quiet time" before the procedure.
 
At Sibley
  • Come to the Radiology reception area located on the ground floor of the hospital.
  • Plan to arrive a little early.
  • Change in the private area reserved for PET/CT and MRI patients.
  • You will have an angiocath placed into a vein in your arm for ease of injection. 
  • We will be injecting you with a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical through this IV line.
  • Wait quietly in a private room for 45 minutes. It is important that you relax and rest 
  • during this time to allow the radiopharmaceutical to properly distribute throughout your body. A companion may wait with you.
  • Proceed with scan, which will take approximately 60 minutes.
 
After the Scan
  • You may leave as soon as the scan is complete. Unless you've received special instructions you can eat and drink immediately. Increasing your fluid intake soon after the exam will assist in removing any residual radiopharmaceutical in your system. The radiopharmaceuticals used during your scan do not remain in your system long, so there's no reason to avoid interacting with others. However, we advise that you wait for a few hours before getting too close to an infant or anyone who is pregnant.
  • Results will be sent to your ordering physician.
  • The entire process—from arrival to discharge—takes approximately three hours.
  • You are encouraged to pre-register at the time you make your appointment and to check with your insurance company about coverage and approval in advance.
 
PLEASE NOTE: The radiopharmaceutical used, FDG, has to be prepared specifically for you the day of your PET/CT. If you cannot make your scheduled appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance, otherwise a $300.00 fee will be charged to you for the cost of the radiopharmaceutical.
 
To schedule an appointment, please call: 202.537.4795
For questions, please call: 202.243.5164
 
 
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