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Joined: May 2005

I will be going for a PET SCAN in just a few weeks? What is it like? How do I have to Prepare?

Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi There, PetScans are actully very easy. You should plan on being at the hospital for a long time. You first get a shot of the radioactive die, and need to wait 30-40 min. before you go in for the scan. The scan is about another 45-60 min. It is the same type of machine as a CatScan. You are on a platform that moves you slowly through the circular machine. I find it relaxing in a way, because you don't need to hold your breath, you just have to stay as still as you can. You can't eat for 6 hours before the test and you should make sure you don't excersice
before hand it can change the way things look on the scan. Good Luck and I hope all works out well.

Posts: 40
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi being a hodgkins survivor 6yrs I have had couple of PET scans. Its not so bad and usually takes 2rs. Mostly you get a call from the hospital or get instructions prior to the scan. I think you are not allowed to eat some hours before the scan and when you are there they give a radioactive shot and you have to sit still for about 45 mins before the scan starts. You can even call the place where the scan will be so you can ask them about any of your concerns. It doesn;t really have any side effects and only the difficult part is lying still as in other scans. I hope every thing turns out well for you . Good luck

Posts: 11
Joined: May 2005

To add another piece of advice, wear comfortable, warm clothes. Make sure that you are the most comfortable you can be when you have to put your arms behind your head; sometimes I don't do that and my neck and shoulder muscles get cramped and I fidget during the scan. That shows as activity as they call it, and though the radiologist should be able to tell the difference, it's a bit confusing. I also tend to shiver a bit, that's why I mentioned the warm clothes. The rooms the machines are in tend to be cold, since electronic equipment doesn't agree with a hot environment.
Also, at the hospital I go to they also make you drink barium, the same chalky tasting stuff the give you for a CT scan.
Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Bodi2's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2005

I have had 5 now...besides the all the stuffbelow... I was told eat low carb.But, yes it does take quite some time.

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2005

I don't know if this advice is too late, but I'll post it anyway.
When I have a PET scan, I must make sure I am completely comfortable when I get on the table. For my first PET, my arms were hanging off the table. After an hour, I was in agony. But the technician kept saying that if I didn't stop squirming, he'd have to start over again. I thought that scan would never end. Same sort of thing happened during a later scan, when my back was twisted at an odd angle. The PET is not much different from a CT, but it takes longer, so make sure you are completely comfortable.
Take care!

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