Long Island Community Hospital GE Discovery ST8 PET/CT.

PET/CT, used for diagnosing cancer, combines the strengths of two well-established imaging modalities, CT for anatomy and PET for function, into a single imaging device. By imaging with the two modalities in a single scan, disease can be both identified and localized, potentially resulting in an earlier cancer diagnosis.


109 W. Main Street
Patchogue, New York 11772

Appointments Available on Saturdays

For more information or to schedule an appointment
Call: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 1.866.245.5995


From the West:

  • East on Long Island Expressway (495) to exit 63, North Ocean Avenue (CR83)
  • Turn right (south) on North Ocean Avenue
  • Continue over Sunrise Highway (Rt. 27) for several traffic lights/stop signs
  • Turn right at stop sign (Reese’s Pub on right) onto Lake Street (you can only make a right here)
  • Continue through the blinking yellow light (fire department on right)
  • Our parking lot is ahead on your left
  • (Please note: our address is West Main Street, but parking and entrances are on Lake Street)

From the East:

  • Sunrise Highway (Rt. 27) to Exit 53, North Ocean Avenue
  • Continue (west) on the service road, cross over Route 112
  • Turn left at light on Ocean Avenue (heading south)
  • Turn right at stop sign (Reese’s Pub on right) onto Lake Street (you can only make a right here)
  • Continue through the blinking yellow light (fire department on right)
  • Our parking lot is ahead on your left
  • (Please note: our address is West Main Street, but parking and entrances are on Lake Street)


You will be contacted 1-2 days prior to your procedure for further instruction and information.

This test will take approximately 3 hours to complete.

  1. Please do not eat 4 hours before your test. You are permitted to drink water.
  2. Please wear comfortable clothing. A void under-wire bra’s, girdles, metal snaps or pins. Please leave valuables at home.
  3. If you are a diabetic, you will be given instructions by the nurse related to your diabetic medications the day of your scan. These instructions will be different depending on the time your test is scheduled.
  4. If you take Lasix or any type of diuretic, you will be instructed not to take it until after the test is completed. If you are on any medications for seizures, please inform the nurse or technologist. All other medications should be taken on your usual schedule.
  5. Please remember to bring with you: insurance cards, referral forms, current list of medications, any requested x-rays or films, and the order for your test.
  6. If you cannot keep your appointment, you must give at least 24 hours notice of your cancellation. This is very important because the medication used for your test will be specially ordered and prepared the day before your procedure is scheduled.
  7. After the procedure is complete, you will be instructed to drink a lot of fluids.

Explanation of Procedure

Your test will be performed by a Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

  1. The patient will have a blood sugar level checked. (If levels are elevated, the nurse will administer insulin as recommended by the physician, and recheck the level.)
  2. An IV will be started.
  3. F-18 FDG (the radioactive material) will be injected.
  4. The patient will remain lying down, resting comfortably and quietly while the radioactive material circulates for 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Prior to the start of the scan, the IV will be removed and the patient will be instructed to void.
  6. The patient will be positioned on the imaging table that will slowly pass through the scanner.
  7. This “pass” will take approximately 30 minutes. The patient will be asked to stay very still.
  8. The scanner will pick up information from the body, which will be reassembled through a computer to create an image of the body.
  9. After the technologist briefly reviews the images, the procedure is complete.

Patient Rights

It is our commitment to you as a patient to assure your right:

To have full access to treatment and accommodations regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, or sources of payment for care.
To know the identity and professional status of those individuals providing your care.
To expect considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances. Those caring for you will respect your dignity, individuality, right to confidentiality, and privacy.
To obtain current and complete information concerning your diagnosis, treatment, technical procedures and potential outcomes.
To have all information explained to you in a manner that you can understand.
To receive full and appropriate answers to any questions you may have.
To expect confidentiality of all information.
To refuse treatment that is suggested for your care to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the consequences of such refusal.
To have an advance directive expressing your choices about your future care or name someone to decide if you cannot speak for yourself.
To leave the hospital at any time, provided that if such departure is against the advice of your doctor, you sign a form releasing the hospital and physicians of responsibility for any harm that may result.
To receive adequate instruction for after-care or self- care after discharge.
To receive appropriate assessment and management of pain.
To receive information about hospital charges and, upon request, an explanation of your bill.

Questions and Answers

What is a PET/CT scan?

A diagnostic Nuclear Medicine Exam used to evaluate how organ systems of the body function.

What can be learned from this procedure?

PET/CT is one of the newest, most advanced procedures used to help identify and differentiate between both primary and metastatic cancer. It can also detect certain diseases of the heart and brain.

Why should I have a PET/CT scan instead of other types of testing?

A PET/CT scan can detect certain disease processes long before other tests such as CT or MRI alone. It can also reduce unnecessary treatment and procedures.

Is PET/CT safe?

You will be injected with a radioactive substance. Medical experts have determined that the benefits of diagnostic testing that use radiation outweigh the risks associated with radiation exposure.


What is radiology?

Radiology is the study of images of the human body.

Should I notify the technologist if I am pregnant or think I may be pregnant?

Yes, you should always notify the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

Why do I need to arrive 15 minutes before my actual appointment time?

We want to ensure you have enough time to be registered and complete the required forms.

Who will perform my exam?

All exams are performed by highly trained certified technologists. Some procedures are performed by a board-certified radiologist.

What should I do after the exam?

With oral contrast or IV contrast, you should drink plenty of fluids after the procedure.

Will I need to return for additional images?

It is not uncommon for the radiologist to request additional imaging to obtain more detailed information of a specific area.

Why do I need IV contrast?

IV contrast helps radiologists see certain body parts such as veins and arteries that help them identify and characterize certain diseases.

Will I be allergic to the contrast?

A small percentage of patients will have an allergic reaction to iodinated contrast. You should alert your doctor if you have had any reaction in the past, and you may be given medication to prevent a repeat reaction.

What is the difference between a CT scan and an MRI?

A CT scan uses X-rays to generate images while an MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves.

How long does a CT scan take?

The length of time varies with the type of study. Some can be performed in less than five minutes; others may take up to 30 minutes or longer.

Does MRI use X-rays?

No. MRI images are created through a combination of radio waves, a powerful electromagnet and an advanced computer system to coordinate and compile data.

Is MRI safe?

MRI is a completely noninvasive, painless procedure and has been demonstrated to be safe, but you must remain still for the 45- to 60-minute exam.

What if I am claustrophobic?

Mild sedatives, earplugs, eye covers and earphones with music are offered to help relieve your anxiety.

How long does an MRI take?

MRI exams take between 45 to 60 minutes to complete.

Can a friend come into the MRI room with me?

Yes. One person may accompany you in the magnet room after they have been properly screened for metal.

When should I schedule my mammogram?

Schedule your mammogram after you obtain a prescription from your doctor. Your doctor should perform a clinical breast examination, and you should discuss any problems you may have with your breasts. Usually the best time for your mammogram is one week after your menstrual cycle when your breasts are less tender.

Why do I need to bring my prior films?

If you have had prior studies, it is in your best interest to bring any films as well as any reports with you. In some cases, it may prevent the need for you to return for additional imaging if the radiologist has prior studies to compare your results with.

What do I need to do to prepare for my mammography?

On the day of your examination:

  • Remember to bring your prescription, health insurance card and photo ID with you.
  • Do not wear any deodorant, creams, lotions or powders.
  • Inform the technologist if there may be a chance you could be pregnant.

What should I expect during my mammography?

The technologist will ask you to remove any jewelry and clothing from the waist up and will give you a gown with the opening to the front. The technologist will help guide and position your breasts on the platform of the machine. A compression paddle will compress your breasts to evenly spread out breast thickness so that small abnormalities will not be obscured. You will be asked to change positions in between images. This is repeated for each breast.

What will I experience during the mammography exam?

The examination takes approximately a half an hour. Some women with sensitive breasts may feel minor discomfort. During the examination, you will feel pressure on the breasts as they are compressed. The technologist should be informed if any pain is significant as compression is increased during the examination. The technologist will use less compression if necessary.

How will I receive the results of my exam?

Our radiologists are board certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and will interpret your study. You will receive the results of your exam by mail within a few days. Your referring physician will receive the actual report. Any suspicious findings are faxed to your referring physician immediately, and you will be notified by mail.