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PET/CT Imaging Centers Tampa Clearwater St. PetersburgPET/CT Imaging

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a valuable diagnostic tool that can provide information that in many cases no other imaging test can. It is a nuclear medicine imaging procedure that looks at the metabolic activity in your body and can reveal changes in cellular function. CT (Computed Tomography) combines X-rays with computer technology to create accurate, detailed diagnostic images of structures in your body including their size, shape and location

PET/CT simultaneously images and merges these two state-of-the-art scanner technologies to create one powerful view of your entire body. Combining the functional information of PET with the anatomical information of CT provides a one-of-kind, 3-dimensional image – your body’s anatomy as well as its biological functions.

PET/CT can provide important information about a variety of conditions including certain cancers, cardiac disease, and brain disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease enabling your physician to make a more accurate diagnosis.

Benefits Unlike Any Other Imaging Technique

Information provided by a PET/CT scan has widespread applications. Some of the benefits of PET/CT include:

  • Helps physicians determine likely outcome of different treatments
  • Pinpoints the best approach for treatment
  • Able to monitor patient treatment progress
  • Provides early diagnosis: changes in functional activity shown on a PET/CT occur before physical changes or symptoms appear

PET/CT Scan Preparation

How do I prepare for the exam?

  • A BayCare Imaging Professional will call you prior to your appointment to provide specific instructions. The representative will also verify your health and insurance information.
  • Refrain from strenuous exercise 24 hours before your exam.
  • Do not eat or drink anything except water for six hours before your exam. Also, please do not chew gum.
  • If you are diabetic, please inform your physician, and contact your BayCare Imaging Center for special instructions.
  • Continue to take your medications, with water, unless instructed not to do so by your physician.
  • Please bring all of your previous films and/or radiology study results (e.g., CT scan, MRI, bone scan, ultrasound or PET) with you.
  • We suggest wearing warm, comfortable clothing.
  • Notify a BayCare Imaging Professional if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to verify your registration information.

What should I expect during the exam?

  • A PET/CT scan is painless and has no side effects. 
  • Typically, your appointment will last at least two hours. Your PET/CT scan itself will take approximately 20-45 minutes.
  • Once you arrive, you will receive an IV in your arm or hand for an injection of a small amount of radioactive glucose, which is distributed throughout the body.
  • About 30-70 minutes after the injection, you will empty your bladder, then lie down on a comfortable scanner bed.
  • The table will move slowly through the dual donut-shaped PET/CT scanner as it acquires the information needed to generate diagnostic pictures.
  • You will be asked to lie very still and breathe normally during the scan because movement can interfere with the results.
  • A trained technologist will monitor you during the exam and answer your questions.

What happens after the exam?

  • Unless you have received special instructions, you will be able to eat and drink immediately.
  • Drinking a lot of fluid soon after the exam will help remove any of the radioactive sugar that may still be in your system. 
  • A radiologist who specializes in the specific area of the body that was examined will review your images.
  • The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care and talk with you about the results

To make an appointment, please call:

Hillsborough County: (813) 635-3610
Pinellas/Pasco Counties: (727) 461-8555

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