What is a Hepatobiliary Scan
(alspo known as a HIDA Scan or Gallbladder Scan)
A Hepatobiliary Scan is performed to assess the ability of the gallbladder to fill and empty as well as the function of the biliary tree.
How long does a Hepatobiliary Scan take?
Please allow 2 hours for this test to be completed. Appointments are made in the early afternoon due to the preparation required, as outline below.
What preparation is there for a Hepatobiliary Scan?
Inform the practice if you have had your Gallbladder removed
You need to fast for 4 hours prior to this test. You are advised to eat breakfast on the morning of the test, before 8:00AM, then only have a small amount of clear fluids until you attend the practice for your appointment. It is important to eat breakfast, because a long period (6+ hours) of fasting can affect the results.
Opiate medication (e.g. Endone) must be ceased more than 8 hours prior to the test.
Please bring your referral from the doctor, any relevant recent scans/tests, and your Medicare card
What does a Hepatobiliary Scan involve?
For patients with a Gallbladder
This test works in two parts:
- Part one - a small injection of a radioactive tracer is administered into a vein in the arm. This injection will not make you feel any different. This injection travels through the body and fills up your gallbladder.
After the injection you are asked to wait in the waiting room for 45 minutes. After that time you will be place under a scanning camera and images are obtained for 5 minutes.
If a sufficient amount of the tracer is visible in your gallbladder you move on to part two; if the gallbladder isn’t visible you will be asked to wait a further 20 minutes and imaging will be repeated. If a sufficient amount of the tracer is visible in your gallbladder you move on to part two; if the gallbladder isn’t visible this concludes the test.
- Part two - the second part involves drinking a dietary supplement (Vanilla or Chocolate flavour). Once you have finished the drink, you will be asked to wait in the waiting room for 45 minutes. After that time images are then taken to show how the gallbladder empties.
For patients who have had their Gallbladder removed
A small intravenous injection of ‘tracer’ will be injected into a vein in your arm. This injection will not make you feel any different. This injection travels through the body and through your common bile duct. The scan starts immediately. Images are taken continuously for approximately 90 minutes. During the images, after 45 minutes you will be asked to drink a dietary supplement (Vanilla or Chocolate flavour) and the images continue to 90 minutes.
When are the results available?
After your scan is completed a Nuclear Medicine Physician will review your scan and write a report of the results. This report and the scan images will be sent securely electronically to your referring doctor/specialist. If you require your results to be sent to a different doctor please advise the staff on the day of your scan.
Are there any costs for this scan?
No, your scan will be Bulk Billed. This means there is NO out of pocket cost for you if you qualify for Medicare.