PREPARING FOR THE SCAN
You will receive specific instructions based on the type of PET scan you are undergoing. If you are unsure about any aspect of preparation you should contact the centre where your PET scan is going to be performed.
It is important that you let staff at the hospital or radiology practice where you are having the scan done know if you are (or think you could be) pregnant or are breast feeding.
This study may not be suitable for pregnant women because of the radiation dose to the growing foetus. Please discuss this with your doctor.
Women who are breastfeeding and people who are the primary or sole carer for small children may need to make special preparations for after the test, to stop breastfeeding for a short time, and to avoid close contact with young children. This is due to the small amount of radioactivity your body may release for a while after the test. Talk to your referring doctor or the nuclear medicine practice where you will have the test for details. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has recommendations about breastfeeding and close contact with children after nuclear medicine tests.
Bring with you to your appointment any previous X-ray or radiology images you have, as comparison with these by the nuclear medicine physician (a specialist doctor), who looks at and interprets your PET scan, can be very helpful.
Generally, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the PET scan because this may alter your sugar metabolism and may affect the quality of the images or pictures. Drinking water is usually acceptable. If you are diabetic, you will be provided with specific instructions and may need to stop taking some diabetic medications before having the scan.
You need to wear comfortable, loose clothing and will generally be changed into a hospital gown. It is important that you are not wearing metal, including jewellery, watches, zips and bra hooks as these can affect the quality of the images produced.