If you’ve never undergone more than a blood test or X-ray, chances are hearing your doctor wants you to go in for a PET/CT scan can throw you off guard a little. This diagnostic procedure, however, is painless and it reveals a lot of valuable information about how your body is working on the inside. There’s simply no reason to be alarmed if this test has been ordered.
A PET/CT scan combines the benefits of both a PET scan and a CT scan in a single test. PET, or positron emission tomography, and CT, computed tomography, are both very standard imaging tools. Doctors use these tools to help them take a much closer look inside the body without actually having to perform surgery to do so. A PET scan enables doctors to see changes in cells at very early stages, which can be especially helpful in diagnosing conditions. A CT scan is meant to deliver information about the body’s anatomy. It provides information about the size, shape, and location of organs and other internal items. When the two tests are combined, a doctor can more easily and accurately diagnose such conditions as heart disease, cancer, and brain disorders.
Just because your doctor has ordered a combination PET/CT scan doesn’t mean there is anything present. This type of test can simply be ordered to rule out concerns as a doctor seeks to find a diagnosis. During the procedure, you’ll be given a small injection of radioactive glucose which serves as a tracer to enable the imaging. This takes about 60 minutes to properly distribute through the body. Once that is complete, the test will start. Most PET/CT scans take less than a half hour.
PET/CT scans simply enable doctors to “see” inside the body so they can make more accurate treatment determinations. If this test has been ordered, there’s no cause for alarm. While it can take a few hours to fully complete, it’s painless and results are generally made available pretty quickly so your doctor can help get you back on your feet faster.
PET / CT of Las Colinas was developed with both patients and physicians in mind and our services have been used for various types of disease; primarily in detecting, staging and monitoring cancer, but also in heart disease and brain disorders.