Noticias HC

PET-CT Scan: A Highly-Effective but Little-Known Diagnostic Technique

Tac Pet MarbellaAt HC Marbella International Hospital, we diagnose our patients using the PET-CT system, a technique we discussed a few months ago in our article. In that article, you can read about the procedure and the benefits provided by the use of PET-CT.


This scan usually gives rise to many questions, both among cancer patients who have heard about it and patients who are scheduled to undergo the procedure. For this reason, we would like to address some of these questions. Rafael Porras, a nurse in our Oncology Unit at HC Marbella, answers the following questions:


Do I need to prepare beforehand for this test?

You must fast for at least 6 hours prior to the test and the patient will only be allowed to drink water. Patient is expected to come fully relaxed, without having performed any physical activity prior to the test to avoid altering the scan images.
If you are on any medical treatment, we will study your file and inform you of any possible contraindications, although this procedure generally does not interact with other drugs.


Is the PET-CT scan a painful procedure?

No, it is a non-invasive, non-aggressive procedure. It is only necessary to make an injection in a peripheral vein.


Is this a long procedure?

The longest time it takes to carry out a PET-CT scan is 20 minutes. Before starting the procedure, we administer a radiopharmaceutical and wait 60 minutes for it to distribute itself correctly in the body.


Does the PET-CT scan have side effects?

No, no side effects have been detected during testing, neither short-term nor long-term.
Also, the drug administered for the diagnosis is not dangerous either as it consists of glucose with a small dose of the F 18 FDG radioactive isotope given to the patient through an intravenous injection and is then eliminated from the body in a short period of time. Patients with diabetes are not affected either since the quantity of glucose used is not enough to affect blood glucose levels.


Can I undergo this procedure while pregnant?

No, we do not carry out this procedure on pregnant women. When in doubt, it is preferable to postpone the examination.


Are there age restrictions for this procedure?

No, there is generally no problem with age since the dose is adjusted based on the patient´s weight. In certain cases, it is necessary to administer sedative drugs to children to stay still during the test.


How long do I have to wait for my results?

At HC Marbella, you can receive the detailed report of your results the same day you take the test. Your results are analysed by our Nuclear Medicine physician. In this way, you are spared of unnecessary wait and the consequential anxiety that comes from not knowing your results.


Do I have to take any precautions after undergoing this procedure?

As It is the case with Nuclear Medicine techniques in general, it is recommended to avoid direct contact with children and pregnant women during the first few hours following the procedure. Drinking a lot of water will help eliminate the injected substance, which is not, however, dangerous.


Do I need to bring any past medical reports in order to undergo this procedure?

It is advised to provide the doctors with all the information related to the reasons you are requesting the PET-CT scan: medical reports, past treatments with end dates and most importantly, the last scans you underwent (X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound scans, scintigraphy, MRI scans, etc.). All your past reports will be returned to you when you receive the results of your PET-CT scan.


What do I have to do to undergo the PET-CT test?

The steps to undergo this test are simple; our team from the Oncology Unit at HC Marbella International Hospital will inform you how to make the request as well as the insurance companies that cover for this service.


Unidad de Oncología en Marbella

Rafael Porras

Rafael Porras

Rafael Porras
Oncology Unit

 Learn more about the PET-CT scan by calling 952 908 898 or by sending an email to our Oncology Unit



May 22, 2016




Read other news

Online appointment and download of test results through My HC.

Tel.: +34 952 908 628

952908898 Oncology
951829978 Diagnosis by imaging
951829947 Gynecology
952908897 Fertility
951829947 Physiotherapy




    I agree to receive e-mails with offers and news about this and other services. *



    Responsible: HC Hospitales, S.L. Purpose: Managing the appointment process. Sending you information by newsletter, upon your acceptance. Duration: The data is deleted once the information has been provided to you, unless you contract our services or request us to contact you in the future. With regard to the newsletter, the data is deleted when you unsubscribe from it. Recipients: We do not disclose your data to any other party. Rights: To access, rectify, and delete your data, as well as further rights explained in the additional information webpage:


    Specialized Care

    Patient Services

    HC Professionals

    Subscribe to our newsletter