St Vincent's Clinic Medical Imaging & Nuclear Medicine

Hepatobiliary Scan

A Hepatobiliary scan is performed to check how your gallbladder and associated ducts are functioning.

What will happen when you have your Hepatobiliary Scan

A small intravenous injection of ‘tracer’ will be injected into a vein in your arm. The scan starts immediately. Images are taken continuously for approximately 60-90 minutes.

A second injection of CCK (Cholecystokinin) may be given through the same needle as the tracer or alternatively you will be required to eat a fatty meal. The scan will start immediately and images taken continuously for approximately 45-60minutes.

You must inform the Nuclear Medicine Physician or the Nuclear Medicine Technologist if you think you may be pregnant or are breast feeding.

What you need to do and how to prepare for the test

You will not be required to undress for the scan.  The scan is performed with the Gamma Camera close to your body but you do not go through a ‘tunnel’.

  • You will need a referral from your doctor
  • Hepatobiliary scans require an appointment
  • Please inform booking staff if you are, or think you could be, pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • You must fast for 6 hours prior to your scan – however, you may drink water
  • Diabetic patients must withhold their medication on the morning of their test. Bring your medication and a sandwich or light meal to take once you have completed the test
  • Please bring any previous relevant X-rays or scans to your appointment
  • You may drive your car following the examination and do not need to be accompanied home
  • You may be in the department for a period of between 60 to 120 minutes. As the scan is performed to check how your gall bladder functions, the scan time for each patent will differ
  • You should not feel sick following the examination
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