How It Is Done continued...
The technologist cleans the site on your arm where the
radioactive tracer will be injected. A small amount of the radioactive tracer
is then injected.
You will lie on your back on a table and a large
scanning camera will be positioned closely above your abdomen. After the
radioactive tracer is injected, the camera will scan for radiation released by
the tracer and produce pictures as the tracer passes through your liver and
into your gallbladder and small intestine. The first pictures will be taken
right after the injection. The pictures may be continuous (like a video) or may
be taken once in a while for up to the next 1½ hours. Each scan takes only a
few minutes. You need to lie very still during each scan to avoid blurring the
pictures. The camera does not produce any radiation, so you are not exposed to
any more radiation while the scan is being done.
(cholecystokinin) that stimulates the gallbladder may also be injected into
your vein during the scans. The pictures taken after this injection can help
determine whether the gallbladder is functioning normally. Computer analysis of
the data may be used to check gallbladder function. You may be asked to
answer questions about your reaction to the cholecystokinin. Occasionally
medicine (morphine sulfate) is given to help diagnose inflammation of the
gallbladder scan takes about 1 to 2 hours.
After the test
Depending upon your results, additional scans may be
taken up to a day later. If you need to return for another gallbladder scan,
you should not eat any fatty foods before you return.
How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the
needle puncture when the tracer is injected, or you may feel a brief sting or
pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Otherwise, a gallbladder scan is
usually painless. You may find it hard to remain still during the scan.
Ask for a pillow or blanket to make yourself as comfortable as possible before
the scan begins.
The test may be uncomfortable if you are having
abdominal pain. Try to relax by breathing slowly and deeply.
cholecystokinin is used during the test, it may cause nausea or abdominal pain.
The technologist may ask you about changes in your pain during the test.