PET/CT scans are done at our Squalicum Parkway location.
To schedule your PET/CT scan, please call: 360.647.2422.
What is a PET/CT?
PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography) is an imaging system which uses a combination of nuclear medicine and computed tomography to demonstrate detailed anatomy as well as the metabolic function of the body. Metabolic function is when your body burns fuel, such as sugar, to create energy. PET scanners detect and demonstrate abnormal metabolism to tissues such as damaged heart muscle or tumors. CT scanners can pinpoint the precise location of the abnormal tissue.
PET/CT is used to provide important information about a patient’s condition, and allows doctors to assist you in making the best choices about treatment of conditions such as:
Wear comfortable cotton clothing without metal snaps, zippers or buttons; you may be asked to change into a patient gown. If you are pregnant, or may be pregnant, please notify your doctor before scheduling a PET/CT scan You will be given specific instructions by your physician as to when to stop eating and/or drinking before your exam. It is important to follow these directions carefully so that metabolic changes are detected correctly.
The scanner used by Mt. Baker Imaging is located in a mobile unit. After checking in at the reception area, a technologist will greet you and explain your examination to you.
A small amount of sugar and radioactive material will be injected into a vein in your arm. The sugar is used to trace the radioactive material with the scanner because of itsability to create energy in your cells. You will then wait a specified amount of time (usually 45 minutes or so) after the injection.
For the majority of exams, you will be asked to lie on a padded table on your back. The metabolic energy from the injection is detected by the scanner and data is then generated using a complex computer system to create images. This process can take about an hour.
The scanner is open and does not cause you to feel claustrophobic. Sensors whichare used to detect the energy from your metabolism may make a pitched sound as they move over you, but there should be nothing uncomfortable about the examination.
One of our board-certified radiologists will interpret the images and prepare a written report for your physician. Our goal is for all reports to be available within 24 hours. If your appointment with your physician is sooner than 24 hours, let us know and our reports can be faxed or called in as a priority.