PET CT

Galway Clinic, was the first to operate PET-CT in the West of Ireland

 

PET-CT

 

PET-CT is a combination of two imaging tools (PET and CT) which provide both functional and positional information of the area under examination. It is used most frequently in oncology. PET uses a small amount of radioactive glucose (FDG) to identify areas in the body which are overactive (e.g.: tumours), while CT allows the radiologist to identify which organs are involved.

 

Appointment

 

Once your doctor has arranged for you to have a PET-CT you will be contacted by us to arrange an appointment. If you require a change in your appointment date or time please let us know two days before your scan.

 

The Galway Clinic has agreements with the HSE and all major insurers.

 

Preparation:

 

Food

 

You must fast for 6 hours prior to your appointment time. For the day before the procedure you should avoid high sugar foods. If you have any queries as to what you can and cannot eat please ask us when we phone with your appointment. If you are diabetic we will make special arrangements for you.

 

Rest & Driving

 

You must avoid strenuous exercise the day before and the morning of the scan. You will receive a mild sedative before your test therefore you should not drive to the Galway Clinic for your appointment.

 

Hydration

 

You should drink 4 glasses of water on the morning of your scan before you leave home.

 

Medications

 

All medications can be taken (with water only) on the day of the scan. If you normally take medications during the day please bring them with you. If you are asthmatic you should bring your inhalers with you.

 

Duration

 

You will be in the diagnostic imaging department for approximately 3 hours. 

 

If you have any queries about PET/CT, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Radiography team who are happy to answer any questions you may have.


What is a PET Scan?

PET scanning uses a radioactive glucose injection to produce functional images of the tissue within the body. A low dose CT scan is done in tandem with the PET scan and this combination of scans allows diagnosis of diseases at very early stages.

What do PET scans involve?

  1. Injection - A PET scan involves receiving an injection usually into a vein in the arm or hand. 
  2. Waiting Time - Once you receive your injection the radiographer will tell you when your scan will take place. In general there are two wait times between injection and scanning, 60 minutes and 90 minutes. During this time you will be asked to relax in one of our three uptake rooms. The wait time selected will depend on the information you doctor is looking for. 
  3. Scan - For the scan patients are asked to lie on their back on the scan table. The table will move in and out of the scanner. The scanner is circular and open at both ends. It is quiet when in operation. It is very important that you stay still for the duration of the scan. There are no further injections during the scan. Scans usually last between 20 and 55 mins, depending on the part of the body being examined. You will be informed of the approximate duration of your scan prior to your scan.

Precautions/Aftercare


NB Female patients
If you are pregnant or there is a possibility you being pregnant please tell us prior to your appointment/injection.
Pregnant women and young children/babies should not come with the patient to the PET scan Dept.

The injection can remain in the body for up to 8 hours. The radiographer will inform you on the length of time precautions should be followed. Even though the amount of radiation is small, you should take the following precautions during this period:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids and empty your bladder frequently. When using the toilet you should avoid spills, flush twice and wash your hands thoroughly. 
  2. If possible avoid close contact over long periods with pregnant women and young babies. 
  3.  If you are a nursing mother, express and discard breast milk for the length of time the radiographer advises.