PET stands for positron emission topography. Virtually an imaging test it provides vital inputs to your doctor on how the brain is functioning. During the scan images of your brain are captured once the radioactive substances are absorbed on to the blood stream. These tracers would attach to compound substances like glucose. Digitalsoftw Glucose is a fuel which runs the brain.
In comparison to the active regions of the brain will be using more glucose as compared to the non active regions. When you highlight it under a PET scan it does allow a doctor to figure out how the brain works and detects any abnormalities. Being an outpatient procedure you can return back to your home the same day process is undertaken.
How the PET brain scan is undertaken?
You might have to proceed on to a procedure room and asked to be seated on a chair. Then a technician would go on to insert a catheter on to your arm. Radioactive tracers with a special dye are being injected on to your veins by this process.
The body would need time to absorb the tracers since blood has to flow through your brain so you might have to wait till next scan occurs. For an hour this procedure is expected to last.
Now comes to the scan. A narrow table is being attached to the PET machine that replicates a paper roll. This table would go on to slide smoothly on to the machine so that the scan is over.
During the scans you need to be laying still. The technician is going to guide you on when you have to remain motionless. The scan goes on to record brain activity as and when it is happening. In the form of still images or video it is recorded. Tracers tend to accumulate in regions of higher blood flow. Once the images are stored in a machine you are asked to exit the machine. Then the test is over.
The phase of preparation in relation to a PET brain scan:
The doctor is going to outline complete procedures on how to prepare for a brain CT scan. Discuss with your doctor any medications you are taking be it over the counter medicines or herbal supplements. Before 8 hours of the procedure you might not be instructed not to eat anything. You can be asked to drink water. Discuss with your doctor if you are suspecting pregnancy or planning to become pregnant. The reason being that the test would not be safe for a developing baby.
Discuss any medical conditions you are suffering with your doctor. For example a patient is who is suffering from diabetes might be provided with specific instructions. If a wrong procedure of fasting is undertaken it can alter the blood sugar levels. Just before the exam you might be asked to change over to a hospital gown and be asked to remove all jewels.
Obviously before visiting a PET scan Chennai center you would want to plan your day and appointment well in advance.
Following up once the procedure is undertaken
It calls for a good idea in order to drink plenty of water so as to flush out the tracers from your body. In most cases tracers fade out from your body within a couple of days. Apart from this you can continue with your original lifestyle until and unless gives specific instructions to follow otherwise. A trained specialist would share the results. During the course of your next appointment the result would be in front of you.
How to interpret the results of a PET scan:
With a PET scan the images are going to appear as multi functioned images of your brain. This can be from deep red to dark blue. The regions of brain activity spring up in warmer colors such as red or yellow. The doctor is going to check out for the scans to detect any abnormalities.
If a brain tumor is detected it would show up as dark spot on a PET scan. In case a person is suffering from dementia they would have a considerable portion of dark images on the PET scan. In such of the cases the dark regions of the brain show that it is impaired.
The doctor would go on to figure out the results of these personal scans and outline the next course of action.
The risks that are bound to emerge with a PET scan?
Since the scan does not use radioactive tracers minimum level of exposure is seen. For the normal processes of the body to be affected it is at a minimum level. When you compare the risks of the tests with the benefits expected how beneficial the results be obtained.
The radiation is assumed to be unsafe for a developing baby, so for a pregnant or nursing woman the PET scan is a strict no. If you are experiencing any uncomfortable feeling or are anxious then also avoid this scan.
Why India seems to be a lucrative destination for PET scan:
Being a cost procedure PET scans would eat a lot into your monthly savings. In case if you are undergoing treatment for brain disorders you might have to opt for the scan on a regular basis. Once again the procedure would work out to be really costly. Most insurance companies do offer coverage schemes for the same, but if no coverage exists you might have a hard time.
On all counts PET scan cost in Chennai works out to be lowest in the world. But low cost does not mean compromise on quality in any way. The city has access to some quality and top notch surgeons in this domain. Most of them did go on to have their education in the top medical institutes of the world and then came back to India in order to showcase their skills. Even the doctors who practice in Chennai are of the highest standards.