Getting a PET CT scan is a highly specialized procedure when compared to other normal diagnostic tests. And choosing the right centre is, extremely important as a lot of factors need to be considered like staff experience, cost, administering of contrast/radioactive tracer, conducting scans, interpreting results, following COVID protocols, etc. Hence, keeping these in mind let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when choosing a PET CT scan centre.
PET CT centres should have doctors who are highly qualified in radiology and nuclear medicine. An experienced doctor can identify even the tiniest detail which could otherwise be missed by a technician. These minute details could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful recovery. These inputs also help your treating doctor in diagnosing and providing you with the best treatment plan for a successful outcome.
The success of a PET CT centre is defined by the quality of its support staff. Experienced technicians and nurses are well-trained to handle any emergency calmly. This can prove crucial in case of any complications that may arise during the scanning procedure or in case of any new comorbidities that may arise during PET CT.
A centre using the latest technology that is in line with the latest in radiology testing means more accurate results. Make sure to research these advancements and crosscheck with the centre if these facilities are present. Better technology provides detailed results, reduces discomfort to patients during scanning and requires less scanning time.
Centres should be equipped with pathology labs in case tests like kidney function test (serum creatinine test), which helps determine how well your body can flush out the radiotracer and contrast medium after the PET/CT, are needed. Having additional facilities like emergency rooms may be essential in case a patient has any comorbidities that may become emergent during PET CT. Having these facilities in-house could prevent increasing the time taken in completing the tests.
PET CT centres that have been functioning for several years tend to have standard operating procedures (SOP) for all the services they provide. They also tend to have protocols in place for in case of any emergencies. These centres have experienced staff who are trained to administer contrast and radiotracers, handle all types of scans, and provide accurate readings. An accurate PET CT could mean life and death – if a scan is not accurate it could miss essential data that could help your physician diagnose you and plan your treatment.
Reading reviews about centres can be a good way to gauge their performance. These reviews can be a source of information to understand the staff behaviour, costs charged, quality of facilities available and machinery, the level of hygiene and cleanliness maintained, etc. Reading these reviews can help you make a more informed choice in choosing the right centre.
Make sure to ask your doctor for a recommendation. Centres recommended by doctors are usually a good choice as they are trusted by medical experts. Also, speak to them about other patients’ experiences on their visit to the centre to further understand the quality of service.
While conducting PET CT scans, centres are required to procure contrast and/or radiotracers (used to identify affected parts more clearly) which are administered to patients. Some centres try to save on the procurement costs of these materials by administering less than the required amounts to patients while charging them the full amount. They also may increase table time- the time you spend in the PET CT machine. This results in less accurate reports which in turn leads to faulty readings, while increased table time may lead to being more exposed to radiation.
Centres also tend to overcharge ignorant patients for films and CDs which are usually added in the cost of the scan. Centres also re-use PPE kits between patients, which is against the government protocols for COVID-19. Make sure to carefully check all the charges in detail before choosing a centre.
Reports should be available to you within 24 hours of your scan and your doctor should receive the reports and scan images by email. Anything longer than that could delay your treatment plan. PET CT scans should include the film and CDs of your scans. These are usually required during follow-up consultations with your doctor.
Government regulations mandate that PET CT centres follow COVID protocols like temperature checks, social distancing in the centres, mandatory face masks, providing hand sanitizers in all areas, regular sanitisation of equipment and change of PPE kits by staff between patients.
Medcare diagnostics is the leading and fastest-growing standalone comprehensive facility for state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging in Mumbai. Led by internationally qualified doctors who have served in the top hospitals of Mumbai, we pride ourselves in being the referral choice of top specialists in Mumbai.
We provide State-of-the-art facilities providing detailed, high-resolution reports and have served more than 1 lakh patients in the last 7 years. With our centres located at Sushrut Hospital in Chembur, Masina Hospital in South Mumbai and a hi-tech standalone centre in Goregaon, we specialize in a multi-modality approach to diagnosis and hence provide all services under one roof. Our centres are COVID-safe, following all Government-mandated protocols with temperature checks, strict adherence to social distancing, providing hand sanitizers in common areas, regularly changing PPE kits and regularly sanitising all facilities and equipment used.