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A patient exits the PET scanner
A patient exiting the PET scanner.

Find out what happens on the day of your positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scan appointment.

If you haven't already, please read our pre-appointment checklist and contact us if you have any questions. You may also want to download a detailed map of our location.

On the day, please book into X-ray reception at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. If you're going to be late or will be unable to attend, please let us know.

At reception, you will be greeted by one of our specialist radiographers, who will be looking after you during your stay with us.

They will:

  • explain the procedure to you
  • take a short medical history
  • take your height and weight
  • ask if you have any prescribed medication to take
  • answer any questions that you might have.

If you bring a relative or friend with you, then they are very welcome to wait for you in either our main waiting room or any of the main visitors facilities situated in the hospital.

Because of the radiation involved with your procedure, it is not advisable to bring young children, or anyone who is pregnant, with you.

Your own waiting room

You will then be settled into your own personal waiting room, where you will be given a radioactive injection that has been specially made up for you, using a small needle in your arm. There are no symptoms or side effects associated with this injection.

For the next 60-90 minutes, you can read, listen to music or simply just lie back and relax. Please feel free to bring in your own books, magazines, electronic tablets or music devices.

You will be encouraged to drink at least two cups of water during this time, which we will supply for you.

In the scanning room

Your radiographer will take you into the scanning room and you will be asked to lie flat on your back on the imaging table with your arms being supported by your side. We will make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

The imaging table will swiftly move back and forth through the scanner at regular intervals over a period of 20-30 minutes, while the images are captured and sent directly through to our scanning control room.

Please relax and don’t worry, as your head will be outside of the scanner for most of the examination.

After your scan

Once your scan has been completed and the radiographer is happy that they have captured the best images, you will be advised of what happens next and will be given our after-care guidelines, which we will discuss with you. You will then be free to leave the clinic.

Please remember:

  • you can continue with your normal diet
  • you will be able to drive, as long as you didn’t take any prescribed medication.

For the next five hours after your scan, you must:

  • avoid any contact with young children
  • avoid contact with anyone who is pregnant
  • avoid crowded situations.

Contact us

If you have any questions about your appointment, please contact:

Canolfan Ymchwil a Delweddu Tomograffeg Gollwng Positronau Diagnostig Cymru (PETIC)