Adler Institute for Advanced Imaging

FOR PATIENTS

What is PET and PET/CT?

Why your doctor ordered a scan for you and what is the benefit.


Schedule An Appointment

Phone number to call, hours, insurance information.


Prepare for Your Scan

What to do before coming in for your scan.


What to Expect

What you will experience while getting your scan.


After Your Scan

Post-procedure directions and information.


FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions.



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PATIENTSFrequently Asked Questions
  • General Questions

    1. What is a PET/CT scan?
    2. Why should I have a PET/CT scan?
    3. How does PET/CT work?


  • Appointment Questions

    1. How do I prepare for my appointment at Adler Imaging?
    2. Why can't I eat four hours prior to my PET/CT scan?
    3. What do I need to bring to my appointment at Adler Imaging?
    4. What do I need to wear to my appointment at Adler Imaging?
    5. Why does the appointment take so long?
    6. What should I expect during my PET/CT appointment?
    7. I'm claustrophobic. Will I feel comfortable during the PET/CT scan at Adler Imaging?
    8. What should I expect after my PET/CT scan is over?
    9. Will I be able to drive to and from the appointment?
    10. How do I find out the results?


  • Scheduling Questions

    1. Do I need a referral?
    2. Is my PET/CT scan covered by my insurance?


  • Safety Questions

    1. Is PET/CT safe?
    2. Will I be exposed to radiation?
    3. Will I experience any side effects from a PET/CT scan?






  • General Questions

    1. What is a PET/CT scan?
    2. PET/CT is one of the most advanced medical imaging techniques available today, combining Positron Emission Tomography with Computed Tomography.

      PET/CT combines CT's fine anatomical detail with PET's ability to detect biochemical abnormalities in the cell. This combination allows for earlier and more accurate detection of disease than either CT or PET alone.

      A PET/CT scan helps your physician diagnose a problem, determine the best approach to treatment and monitor your progress.


    3. Why should I have a PET/CT scan?
    4. Some of the common uses of PET imaging are:

      • For Oncology (cancer): Diagnosis, staging and restaging of tumors
      • For Cardiovascular (heart): Myocardial perfusion imaging; myocardial viability imaging
      • For Central Nervous (brain): Dementia, epilepsy and tumor
      • For Skeletal(bone): Bone scanning


    5. How does PET/CT work?
      • Cancer cells grow at a very fast rate.
      • Growing cells use glucose as a primary source of energy. The faster cells grow, the more glucose is consumed.
      • A form of glucose called FDG, which emits particles called positrons, is injected before a PET/CT study is performed.
      • More FDG molecules are consumed in fast-growing cancer cells than in normal cells, resulting in concentrations of FDG, and positrons, in areas of cancer.
      • A PET/CT scanner detects where positrons are being emitted from within a patient and provides images that map the locations.
      • PET FDG mapping is combined with a CT image's structural detail in order to identify both the presence of disease and its precise location.


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  • Appointment Questions

    1. How do I prepare for my appointment at Adler Imaging?
    2. Refer to the Patient Preparation Instructions.


    3. Why can't I eat four hours prior to my PET/CT scan?
    4. Because FDG is based on glucose distribution, it is important to restrict your food intake prior to the scan. Please be sure to review and follow the preparation instructions prior to your PET/CT.


    5. What do I need to bring to my appointment at Adler Imaging?
      • Bring your insurance cards and photo identification.
      • Bring films or digital images of any previous PET/CT exams.


    6. What do I need to wear to my appointment at Adler Imaging?
      • Wear warm and comfortable clothes, especially in the winter.
      • Avoid clothes with heavy buckles or metal components.


    7. Why does the appointment take so long?
    8. Scan time for a PET/CT exam is usually 25-30 minutes, but you are scheduled for an appointment at the Adler Imaging facility that spans between 2 ½ to 3 hours. This is due to the need to rest quietly for about 90 minutes in a private patient suite while the F-18 FDG circulates throughout the body. Individual televisions are installed in each private patient suite for your use while you wait.


    9. What should I expect during my PET/CT appointment?
    10. A brief summary follows. For more detail on what to expect while you are at Adler Imaging for your PET/CT, click here.

      • After registering, you will go to a private patient suite where a technologist will insert a small IV into your arm.
      • A small amount of F-18 FDG, a form of glucose, will be injected through the IV. This is painless.
      • You will rest quietly for about 60 minutes in the private patient suite while the F-18 FDG circulates throughout the body.
      • After resting, you will be escorted to the scanning room. A technologist will help you onto a comfortable table on the PET/CT scanner, which will move slowly while your images are taken. The scanner is open on both ends.


    11. I'm claustrophobic. Will I feel comfortable during the PET/CT scan at Adler Imaging?
    12. Most patients who have experienced claustrophobia are still able to feel comfortable during a PET/CT scan at Adler Imaging. The scanner is open at both ends and has bore clearance for patients up to 450 pounds. It is a quiet study, and if you would like to bring your favorite CD of relaxing music, we can play it for you in the scanning room while your images are taken.

      If you think you will still feel claustrophobic, contact your primary physician for an appropriate prescription, have it filled, and bring it with you. Do not take the medication before you arrive. Notify the staff that you brought medication for your claustrophobia when you check in at the front desk -- the technologist will later help you to take the medication at the appropriate time. After the scan, make sure you have a ride home from your appointment.


    13. What should I expect after my PET/CT scan is over?
      • You may leave immediately after your scan.
      • Your activity will not be restricted. You may drive if you wish, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications.
      • As an extra precaution, avoid getting close to an infant or anyone who is pregnant for eight hours immediately following the scan.
      • The PET/CT scan will be reviewed by a physician who will send a report to your doctor.
      • Your doctor will contact you about the results of your PET/CT scan.


    14. Will I be able to drive to and from the appointment?
    15. Your activity will not be restricted. You may drive if you wish, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications.


    16. How do I find out the results?
    17. Your referring physician will receive the report from your scan within 24-48 hours after your appointment. Your referring physician will review the results with you.


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  • Scheduling Questions

    1. Do I need a referral?
    2. Adler Imaging will coordinate with your referring physician to process all the paperwork required to schedule your PET/CT exam and obtain precertification from your insurance prior to your appointment. You do not need an additional referral.


    3. Is my PET/CT scan covered by my insurance?
    4. Adler Imaging accepts all insurance coverage. Over the last few years, insurance companies have broadened their coverage of the different types of existing PET scans allowing more patient access to PET scans. Therefore, most PET scans for cancer evaluation should be covered. Additional coverage may be available for heart viability and brain disorders. This will be reviewed by Adler Imaging with your physician's office prior to your exam. Coverage amounts may vary depending on your insurance plan. You should contact your insurance carrier with any questions regarding your coverage.



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  • Safety Questions

    1. Is PET/CT safe?
    2. A PET/CT exam is a safe procedure. The quantity of radiation is low and the radiopharmaceutical used in PET/CT, F-18 FDG, degrades quickly so it is not in your system long.


    3. Will I be exposed to radiation?
    4. Yes, but the exposure is minimal and your physician has determined that the medical benefits from an accurate diagnosis or staging of your disease warrant the test being performed. A form of glucose called F-18 FDG, which emits particles called positrons, is injected before a PET/CT study is performed.


    5. Will I experience any side effects from a PET/CT scan?
    6. Most patients do not experience any side effects from an F-18 FDG injection. PET/CT scanning is very safe and you are not expected to experience any major side effects from the injection. Due to the PET/CT agent's radioactive nature, it will clear your body's system in a short period of time.


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