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What are the preparations for a PET scan?

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Quick Answer

According to Hopkins Medicine, patients should prepare for a PET scan by fasting for a number of hours before the procedure and abstaining from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use for 24 hours before the procedure. Depending on the patient, doctors may give more specific instructions about the use of medications before a PET scan.

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What are the preparations for a PET scan?
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Full Answer

A PET scan is a procedure used by doctors to examine body tissues. It enables doctors to diagnose various conditions within the fields of oncology, neurology and cardiology. Hopkins Medicine states that PET scans can also be used to locate surgical sites, evaluate the success of ongoing cancer treatments and diagnose dementia.

According to Hopkins Medicine, doctors will provide patients preparing for a PET scan with specialized instructions on exactly how long to avoid eating and drinking prior to the procedure. Patients should inform their doctors if they are pregnant or allergic to latex or contrast dyes. Patients with diabetes may be asked to follow a specific insulin regimen leading up to the procedure. Also, all prescriptions should be disclosed to the doctor. Before the PET scan takes place, doctors should thoroughly explain the procedure and give patients the opportunity to ask questions or express concerns.

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