PET Scan

What is PET?
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a noninvasive procedure that helps physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases. Biochemical changes are detected by PET scan after a compound that contains radioactive molecules is injected into the body. These molecules allow the measurement of metabolic activity within the body. A computer records this information and converts it into pictures for diagnostic purposes. PET/CT holds many clinical applications in oncology, neurology and cardiology

How Long Does It Take and Does It Hurt?
You should plan on being in the PET Department for up to three hours. The scan itself, in most cases will be about 40 minutes. The scan causes no pain.

What Is Being Injected for The Scan?
A very small amount of radioactive labeled glucose is injected. The amount of radiation you will receive is about the same as any other radiology procedure (CT scans or Nuclear Medicine procedures). You should not feel any side effects from the material. Most of the radioactivity will be gone by the time you leave the department.

How Do I Prepare for The Exam?
Do not eat for 6 hours before your appointment. Refrain from exercising 24 hours before your scan.

You will be asked what medications you take when you schedule your appointment. You will be provided further instructions at that time.

What Will Happen After the Scan?
It is important that you drink as much as possible for the rest of the day and empty your bladder as often as possible. This will result in a more rapid clearance of the radioactivity from your body. You can drive and resume normal activities immediately after leaving the department, unless you received sedation.

PET Scan at McLeod Regional Medical Center
McLeod Regional Medical Center was the first hospital in the state to install the Siemens Biograph mCT, an innovative PET/CT scanner which offers accurate, fast and comfortable exams for a wide range of patients. The new PET/CT scanner offers exceptional patient comfort. Its open design and fast scan times may help patients feel less claustrophobic. The unit’s innovative dose-reduction technologies minimize patient exposure to radiation. Additionally, the system’s fast scan times result in less patient motion, optimizing both image quality and the overall patient experience. Exams that previously lasted 40 minutes are now performed in less than 20 minutes.

PET/CT scans at McLeod are offered Monday through Friday. McLeod also participates in the National Oncologic PET Registry, which expands Medicare’s coverage of PET imaging.

Location: PET Scans are performed in the McLeod Center for Cancer Treatment and Research, First Floor, 401 East Cheves St., Florence. If you feel you will need sedation or are a diabetic, contact the McLeod PET Department at (843) 777-4738 for further instructions before your scheduled appointment.