Why Do I Need a PET Exam?
Your doctor may order a PET scan to:
- Detect cancer, heart disease, a neurological condition or another illness in its earliest stages
- Determine how far a disease has spread
- Evaluate the impact of treatment
Before Your PET Scan
To make sure your test goes smoothly, follow the instructions you’ll receive after making your appointment for the exam. If you have any questions about how to prepare, call the main Nuclear Medicine department at 864-512-1418.
PET is a type of nuclear medicine. That means you’ll receive an injection of a slightly radioactive material called a radiotracer before the scan. The radiotracer takes up to an hour to travel to the part of your body under examination. As it settles, the material gives off gamma rays that a special camera captures and turns into images.
During the Exam
If you’ll receive CT imaging, it will take place first. This part of the procedure lasts only a few minutes.
Just as you do during a CT scan, you’ll lie on a table that slides into a machine for a PET exam. A gamma camera will either remain still or move around you as it takes pictures.
Nearby, a technologist will operate the machine and monitor you throughout the test.
Getting Your Results
PET scan results will likely appear in your MyChart patient portal within 24 hours. You may see them before your doctor has a chance to review and explain them. Reach out to your doctor with any questions about next steps.