People who have not undergone a PET scan before have a lot of misconceptions about the procedure. PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. If you have tried a CT scan before, it works pretty much the same way. There are slight differences in terms of how the results are obtained or how they look, but you will go through the same procedure.
Generally speaking, this is a painless process. You just have to lie flat on a bed and go through a tube-like structure. You must avoid moving since it could affect the results. It takes an hour or so for this procedure to be over. It depends on which part of the body is being scanned. You won’t even feel anything during the process.
The reason why many people are scared is that the place looks somewhat creepy. You are in a room by yourself and placed inside a huge device. If you are claustrophobic, you will most likely faint hearing about this idea. Other than its psychological impact, you won’t have any issue with this procedure.
No complications at all
If there are complications, they happen very rarely. Sometimes, people can have allergic reactions to a dye which is used as a contrast agent. However, this almost never happens. Besides, before the agent is used, the patient’s allergic history will first be asked. This dye also does not cause kidney damage.
On the other hand, pregnant women are not allowed to have a scan. X-ray technology is still used, and it causes radiation. This could lead to abnormalities in the fetus. This procedure is only required under dire circumstances.
Large doses of radiation could lead to cancer, specifically leukemia. This happens several years after the exposure. However, for both CT and PET scans, the required dosage of radiation is too low. Therefore, the risk in scanning is very small. Repeated scans over time though could lead to an increased dose, which may be harmful. Younger people who are exposed to radiation over a longer period of time could have a greater lifetime risk. In general, though, the risk is too low, and the benefits outweigh the harm.
Scans are usually done only with the prescription of the doctor. Therefore, before you undergo the procedure, you have already been assessed by your physician. There is nothing to fear.
Now that you know how PET scan works and it does not lead to any negative effect at all, you should just follow your doctor’s order to get one. Check out private PET scans in London if you are in the area, as they use the latest machines and technology.