positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT)

PET/CT combines two state-of-the-art technologies in one. PET highlights the abnormal metabolic function of cells. CT simultaneously depicts the anatomical location of the cells with precision and clarity.

Together, these images create a 3-D picture that enables physicians to make better decisions for earlier cancer treatment. PET/CT is also useful for following response to therapy and allows early detection of cancer recurrence, which can improve the chances of treatment success.

The PET/CT injection utilizes radioactive glucose. It is not iodine and there is no reaction with diabetic medications.

Preparing for PET/CT

  • Do not exercise 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Food and drink guidelines.
    • Eat a low carbohydrate/high protein diet (e.g., eggs, meat, cheese, beans and vegetables) the evening before your procedure. Refrain from eating foods high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates (e.g., pasta, rice, potatoes, cererals, and desserts).
    • Do not eat 4 hours prior to the exam.
    • Drink only water, sugar-free drinks or black coffee/tea prior to the morning of the test. Be well hydrated on the day of your exam. Continue to drink approved beverages up until the time of the appointment.
    • Take medications with water or saltine crackers if food is required.
    • Diabetic patients should call the PET/CT team (804-281-8290) the day prior to the exam to discuss their medications.
  • Bring the following to your exam.
    • Medications for pain, anxiety or claustrophobia, if you need them. If you take medications for anxiety or claustrophobia, please make sure you have someone with you to drive you home after your appointment. Patient's entire visit to the hospital will last about two hours.
    • Bring any recent CT scan results (CDs) if they were performed at a non-Bon Secours facility.
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothing.

Patient Instructions

  • Patient should arrive 30 minutes prior to their appoitment (unless instructed otherwise). PET/CT is offered at 3 convenient Bon Secours hospitals.
    • St. Mary's Hospital: Report of Emergency Department for registration
    • Memorial Regional Medical Center: Report to Outpatient Registration in MOB 1
    • St. Francis Medical Center: Report to the Cancer Institute, Radiology/Oncology Department (left of the fireplace)
  • Complimentary valet parking is available.
  • Materials for this procedure are ordered in advance and are time sensitive (cancellations must be made at least 48 hours prior to your appointment).

Questions? If you have any questions regarding your scheduled appointment or you need to change or cancel your exam please call Central Scheduling at 804-627-5660 or Coordination of Care at 804-266-2000.

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Central Scheduling 

Saturday, 8:00am –12:00pm

In most cases, the referring physician will schedule your exam.

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