Medical Imaging: PET (Positron Emission Tomography)/CT - Before You Arrive

Download the How to Prepare for PET/CT brochure

Please make the following arrangements for your appointment:

Before your PET scan:

  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or might be pregnant
  • you may be asked to sign a consent form authorizing this procedure. Use this opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the need for this test or how it will be done.
  • depending on the part of the body being examined, you may be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown. Please wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and no jewelry or other metallic objects.
  • do not drink a lot of fluid before the test as you will have to lie still for an extended period of time. For your own comfort, you should empty your bladder before the test begins.

Depending on the PET scan you are having, you will receive specific instructions with your appointment notice. You may be asked to:

  • not smoke or drink any beverages containing alcohol or caffeine for 24 hours before the test
  • stop taking any medications for 24 hours before the test. If you take insulin to control diabetes, you should take your insulin before your test.
  • avoid eating or drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the test
  • if you are having a PET scan of your abdomen, you may need to take a laxative the evening before the test and possibly have an enema the morning of the test. However, this is rare.