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What you need to know about a HIDA scan:
A hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan is a test to show how your liver and gallbladder are working. This test is also called cholescintigraphy.
How to prepare for a HIDA scan:
Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take. You may need to stop taking certain medicines before the test.
What will happen during a HIDA scan:
A radioactive substance called a tracer will be injected into a vein, usually in your hand or arm. A healthcare provider will position a camera above your stomach and take pictures every 5 to 15 minutes for 1 to 2 hours. After these pictures are taken, you may be given a medicine that will empty your gallbladder. More pictures will be taken as your gallbladder empties. More scans may be taken within 24 hours after you have received the tracer. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to return if more scans are needed.
What will happen after a HIDA scan:
You may have abdominal discomfort or nausea for a few minutes if you were given medicine to empty your gallbladder. You will need to drink plenty of liquids after this test. This will help flush the tracer out of your body. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
Risks of a HIDA scan:
The area where the tracer was injected could become red, swollen, or painful.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have pain, redness, or swelling in the area where the tracer was injected.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush the tracer out of your body. The tracer leaves your body within a few days through your urine or bowel movements. Your healthcare provider may tell you to flush the toilet 3 times after you go to the bathroom. This makes sure that none of the tracer is left in the toilet bowl.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water each time you urinate.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to go over the results of your tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.