Course of the examination.
It is essential, that you arrive for the examination on time for your appointment. You may come with an accompanying person, with the exception of children and pregnant women. It is important that you remain calm and relaxed. Please, bring with you any medical findings from other examinations, CT, MRI scans, possibly including your medical record from the general practitioner. If you suffer from claustrophobia (intense fear of confined spaces), experience any pain, are pregnant or breastfeed, please, inform the staff about these conditions before the examination immediately. You should come wearing comfortable and warm clothing, without any metal accessories. Before the PET scan, you will be checked for your blood sugar level by taking a blood sample from your fingertip. 30 minutes later, you will be administered a small amount of radiopharmaceutical (the amount depends on the patient’s weight and the type of examination). Radiopharmaceuticals are non-toxic, they are prepared under strict sterile conditions, and they all comply with the high-standard criteria of the State Institute for Drug Control. After the injection, there is about a one-hour interval that you spend in a resting position – either lying down or seated. During the examination itself, you are lying still on a bed, while the bed slowly guides you through a round opening of the camera (PET/CT) or there are scintigraphic detectors circulating you in a close proximity (SPECT). The imaging can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the type of examination. In certain cases, the imaging needs to be performed several times in specific time intervals, therefore it is advised not to plan any other appointments on the day of the examination. If you are arriving from a long distance, please, consider your ride home beforehand. If necessary, we are able to provide you with accommodation for 1-2 nights at our accommodation facility.
Instructions to follow after the examination.
In most cases, the radioactivity usually “falls apart” until the next day after the examination, partly excreted in urine. Therefore, it is advised to drink more liquids in order to speed up the process of its elimination. In the given time, we recommend avoiding close contact with children and pregnant women. The radiopharmaceutical will have no effect on you; therefore, you may continue with your daily routines carefree, e.g., drive a car, or return to work. If you work at a nuclear facility, plan to fly on a plane or go abroad, the sensitive detectors may catch the radioactivity in your body up until the next day after the examination. In such cases, we can provide you with a certificate confirming the examination with radioactive material administration.
Receipt of the test result.
Within two days, the doctors of the PET centre elaborate a medical finding based on your images and send it to the doctor who recommended you for the procedure. The medical findings are sent via post and should be delivered 10 days since the examination at the latest. The information on your test results via phone can only be disclosed to the attending doctor.
No need to worry about complications.
Complications related to the administration of radiopharmaceuticals or drinking of the contrast material are extremely rare and can be practically excluded. The only instance that could occur is the rare possibility of a more severe reaction, especially allergic reaction, when the contrast material is administered intravenously. In order to minimise such occurrences, we follow strict preventative measures. If your case requires the intravenous administration of the contrast material, you will be instructed beforehand. If you refuse to use the contrast material, the examination can be performed without it, however, with a lower diagnostic value. If you suffer from any drug or food allergy, please, inform the attending staff.
Should any adverse effects arise, it is of utmost importance that you report them.
In case of pregnancy.
Pregnant women are examined only in exceptional cases, upon consultation with the attending doctor. If you are pregnant, please, inform our staff before the administration of the radiopharmaceuticals or the contrast material. If you find out about your pregnancy only after the examination, please, contact our doctors as soon as possible, so that they can clarify the situation and recommend further instructions.
It is necessary to temporarily discontinue breastfeeding.
Some radioactive materials transfer from blood into the mother’s milk. Please, ask our staff for more information on how long it is necessary to discontinue the breastfeeding.
Examinations of children.
The course of the examination is the same as with adults, except that the amount of radiopharmaceuticals or contrast material is smaller. In order to perform the examination correctly, it is necessary that the child lies still on the examination bed. Small children may be put under general anaesthesia by the attending specialist, while older children are given a sedative.
Do you want to know how the examination procedure looks like? Here is the series of videos, that describe procedures of examinations and patient safety before, during and after these examinations. By clicking the button below, you enter the section with the videos.