Is a PET Scan an Uncomfortable Procedure?


Quick Answer

Although a PET scan is not painful, it may cause some discomfort, especially if the patient is uncomfortable with needles or is claustrophobic, as stated by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The patient is required to lie still on the padded table for the duration of the scan, which may be uncomfortable.

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Full Answer

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a diagnostic tool that uses radiation to produce three-dimensional, colored images of the body, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The radioactive substance, often injected in an IV line, acts as a tracer, and the scanner detects the substance to create the images. Too much movement interferes with the distribution of the tracer, which is why the patient is advised to lie quietly without talking or moving.

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