716 649 9000
M, W, Th, F 7 am- 5 pm
Tuesday 7 am- 7 pm
Select Saturdays
716 558 5400
M, T, W, F 7 am-5 pm
Th 7 am-7 pm
Sat 7 am- 1 pm
716 558 5140
M-F 7 am- 5 pm

PET/CT Scanning

PET/CT Scanning

What is a PET Scan procedure?

Southtowns_consultphotoPET scan imaging, or PET is an acronym for Positron Emission Tomography. PET is a test that uses special imaging cameras and a radioactive type of sugar to produce pictures of the function and metabolism of the cells in the body.  A PET scan is unique type of imaging test that helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside your body are functioning.

What is a CT Scan?

CT scan imaging, or CT (Computed Tomography), sometimes referred to as a CAT scan, uses specialized equipment to obtain image data in a 360-degree arc around the body, and then uses advanced computer processing to show thin cross-sectional images of the body tissue.

CT imaging is particularly useful for investigating lung, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels. With this technology radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, vascular disorders, infectious disease, trauma, and musculoskeletal disorders. CT scanning is a very efficient and patient-friendly exam that involves little radiation exposure.

What is a PET/CT Scan?

A PET/CT scan merges both technologies into a single machine. It provides a picture of function (PET) and a picture of anatomy (CT) and a merged picture of both the body’s metabolism and structure.

What to bring and wear for your PET scan?

You must bring your insurance card and the written requisition form from your physician and arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the examination.  If applicable, bring a CD copy of any previous PET exams, x-ray, CT or MRI scans done at a different imaging facility for comparison.  Wear warm, comfortable clothes – the scanner room is often cool – and avoid clothes with heavy buckles or metal components.

How can you prepare for your PET scan?

  • For 6 hours before your test, do not eat or drink (except water).  Do not chew gum.
  • Please take all your prescribed medications as normal (except cough drops, cough syrups, liquid Mylanta, Tums, Boost, etc.)
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar, tobacco and heavy exercise for 48 hours before your scan
  • If you have diabetes, discuss with your physician and call the imaging center staff before your scan
  • If you are or think your may be pregnant, discuss this with your doctor.  Generally, PET imaging is not performed on pregnant women.

How long does a PET scan take?

southtownsconsult2Once injected into a vein, it typically takes from 45 minutes to 1 hour for the radiotracer to travel throughout the body and be absorbed into the organs or tissues to be examined. The scan itself may take another 30 to 60 minutes.   Total appointment time is approximately 2 hours.

What to do before your PET/CT Scan?

Download the About Your PET/CT Scan instructions page (PDF) for detailed instructions about what to expect and how to prepare for your scan.

Available at the following location:

  • West Seneca  550 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca, NY 14224 • Phone: 716-558-5140 Directions



Three locations in the Buffalo, NY area

Orchard Park 3050 Orchard Park Road | (716) 558-5400 | Fax (716) 558-5424
Hamburg 3040 Amsdell Road | (716) 649-9000 | Fax (716) 649-9005
West Seneca 550 Orchard Park Road | (716) 558-5140 | Fax (716) 674-2697