Your physician may have ordered a PET/CT scan for you. PET/CT scans are performed to help your doctor appropriately plan treatment for your medical condition.

PET/CT scan preparation

  • You are required to have nothing to eat or drink except water four hours prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • Non-diabetics can take all medications with water as long as they can be tolerated on an empty stomach. Diabetics: Oral diabetics may not take their diabetes medications within four hours of their scheduled arrive time. Insulin diabetics may not take their insulin within six hours of their scheduled arrival time. Insulin pump patients must call for instructions (484.337.2200).
  • Drink three glasses of water the day of the exam.
  • For dinner the night before the exam, please eat a high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal (e.g., fish, steak, chicken, vegetables, etc). Avoid pastas, potatoes, breads, etc. On exam day, if time allows, while still adhering to the four-hour fasting requirement above, a small high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal is allowed (e.g., eggs, bacon, sausage). Avoid cereal, bagels, breads, sugar, etc. If you are unsure of the fasting and/or meal requirements, please call 484.337.2200 to confirm.
  • Refrain from all exercise 24 hours prior to exam.
  • If your CAT scan, MRI or previous PET/CT scan was not performed at one of the Main Line Health facilities, please bring in a disc with your scans on them the day of your study. (If you are unsure, please call 484.337.2200.)
  • You can expect to be at the PET/CT center about two hours. The actual scan itself can range from 10–20 minutes.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing with no zippers, snaps or buttons.

The PET/CT scan procedure

  • To begin your procedure, a small amount of radioactive glucose is injected into a vein in your arm. The tracer is not a medication or a dye so you will not feel any differently from the injection or have any reaction. After the injection, you will wait approximately one hour while the injected material is distributed throughout your body.
  • There are no side effects from the injected tracer.
  • Scan time will be 10-20 minutes.

Your appointment

Please make an effort to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment.

Registration will take place at the same location as your appointment: Main Line Health Newtown Square, 3855 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073. (Parking is free and abundant.)

Please bring a copy of your physician’s order script and insurance card to your exam. Results from your PET/CT scan will be available to your physician within 48 hours of the exam.

The PET/CT isotope is specially ordered for you and your particular study 24 hours before your exam. It cannot be reused! Therefore, should you need to cancel your appointment, it is important that you call us at least 24 hours in advance. If, for any reason, you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify us as soon as possible by calling 484.337.2200.