All you need to know about Gallbladder scan

If your doctor suspects that all the symptoms of your health issues are due to some problems in gallbladder, liver or bile duct then he will ask you to have a special kind of scan called as the Hepatobiliary Iminodiacetic acid or HIDA scan.  It is a kind of nuclear imaging test through which gallbladder liver and bile ducts can be viewed.

Purpose of HIDA scanning

HIDA scanning is done for the following purposes:

  • To measure the rate of release of bile from the gallbladder
  • To check bile excreting functionality of liver
  • To diagnose the leakage in the biliary system
  • To find the cause of pain mainly on the sides of the abdomen.
  • To keep a track on the health of liver after the transplant

In addition to these, HIDA scanning also helps in diagnosing the cause of inflammation in the gallbladder and obstruction in the gall bladder.

Preparations done for HIDA scanning

For HIDA scanning, patients are needed to be prepared. A radiology staff or the doctor may provide you the instructions on how you can get prepared for this test. Few important considerations for getting this scan done are that you should stop for certain types of medicines if you are taking,  avoid eating at least 4 hours before the test schedule and leave all the jewelry which you are wearing right before the test. In some cases, the doctors may prescribe you some kind of medicines so that HIDA imaging can be obtained in a better way.

The procedure of HIDA scanning

A small amount of radioactive isotope is injected into the veins of the arms. This isotope will travel into your gallbladder through your liver.  This isotope is the tracer. A special gamma camera is moved over your belly to take the pictures. This tracer follows the path of bile in your body. Patient is needed to lie down still otherwise blurry images will be obtained. This process takes around one or two hours to finish the process.  HIDA scanning is done in conjunction with X-Ray and ultrasound.

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