Undergoing a Gallbladder Scan in Williamsport, PA
A nuclear medicine procedure to view the flow of bile from your liver to your small intestines. Gallbladder scans can be ordered for several reasons. These reasons include:
- Diagnosis of acute or chronic cholecystitis
- Evaluation of patients with episodes of abdominal pain
- Detection of a bile leak after an operation to remove the gallbladder
- Diagnosis of Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
- Detection of Biliary tree obstruction
Preparing a Patient for Gallbladder Scan
Prior to the procedure, you should fast for four hours. Any prescription drugs that affect gastric motility, including diarrhea medicines, should not be taken the day of the procedure. Any narcotics should be avoided for four hours before test.
On very rare occasions we may need to administer a small dose of morphine to help with diagnosis. Consequently, you will need to be able to contact someone to drive you home, or have someone accompany you to the test and drive you home.
Length of Procedure
Upon arrival you will be registered by our office staff. A certified nuclear medicine technologist will explain the procedure, start an IV, and administer the isotope. Images are taken for an hour.
If an ejection fraction is ordered by your doctor after the first hour, a drug called CCK will be administered by a certified nuclear medicine technologist. There should be no discomfort. You will have an additional 30 minutes worth of imaging.
If your gallbladder is not seen during the first hour we will administer a small amount of morphine. Morphine affects the valves in your bile duct, and can help us see the gallbladder in a shorter time. If you are allergic to morphine, please notify the technologist performing the procedure. Delayed images will be required.
What Happens During a Gallbladder Scan Procedure?
A certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity (name and birth date). You will be placed on an imaging table and an IV will be started. You will receive an injection of an isotope and pictures will be taken for one hour. You will be asked to remain as still as possible. Most patients fall asleep for the gallbladder scan.
You will be allowed to use the restroom when this part of the test is done. After the first hour is complete, your physician may want to evaluate the gallbladder function. A certified nuclear medicine technologists will administer a drug called CCK through your IV. There should not be any discomfort. Additional imaging will be done for 30 minutes.
If the gallbladder does not visualize in the first hour, a board-certified nuclear medicine physician or registered nurse will administer a small amount of morphine. Another additional 30 minutes of imaging will be done. Please note if morphine is administered, even a small dose, someone else will need to drive you home. A board certified nuclear medicine physician will interpret your scan. The results will be available to your physician within one working day.