Don’t Be Afraid – PET Scan Stigma

When people first hear the words radioactive materials, they usually become quite nervous with the idea of getting a PET-CT in Riverhead, NY. The truth is, the materials that are used these days for contrast have no side-effects and are so low of a dose of radiation that they do not really affect the body in any appreciable way. This type of testing is safe, and if you need to get this kind of scanning done, there isn’t any good reason not to. If you are still worried about the procedure and what it entails we’ll go over it in the following sections.

Step 1 – The Radioactive Isotope

When you first go back for your appointment, you’ll be taken into a room where they will insert a small IV line. One of the first things they’ll do is look at your blood sugar, and the reason this is done is because the isotope is pretty much-irradiated sugar water and if your blood sugar is too high it could possibly interfere with the testing. So you’ll probably have been instructed not to eat hours or even a day before the test, so make sure you follow those instructions. Once that has been completed, they will administer the irradiated material, and then you’ll wait quietly by yourself in an area and told to relax. This will last anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes before you’re moved into the scanning room and set up. Then you’ll wait approximately another 15, and the scans will begin.

Step 2 – The Actual Procedure

Typically in a combined CT PET test, the CAT will be completed first. It’s quick and takes only a few moments. Once that is completed, the longer and slower PET scanning takes place. Depending on how many regions of your body that needs to be covered is can take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour. Each section typically takes about 5 minutes. A typical range might be from the base of your skull to your knees. This is around 8 regions and so takes around 40 minutes of lying there. Once you’re finished, you’ll be free to go home and told to drink plenty of water to ensure that your body removes the contrast.

There is no reason to be nervous about this kind of scanning procedure. It is entirely safe, and it is a good diagnostic tool for your physicians to use. So try to forget the stigma, relax and just get the scans done.

Looking for somewhere to get a combo PET CT in Riverhead, NY? Contact North Fork Radiology to know more.

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