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.
Allergic reactions to the radioactive
tracer are rare. Most of the tracer will be eliminated from your body (through
your urine or stool) within a day, so be sure to promptly flush the toilet and
thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. The amount of radiation is so
small that it is not a risk for people to come in contact with you following
Occasionally, some soreness or swelling may develop at
the injection site. These symptoms can usually be relieved by applying moist,
warm compresses to your arm.
There is always a slight risk of
damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, including the
low level of radiation released by the radioactive tracer used for this
A gallbladder scan is a special
nuclear scanning test that is done to check
gallbladder function. The results of a gallbladder
scan are available in 2 days.
The radioactive tracer flows evenly through
the liver and then into the gallbladder and the beginning of the small
intestine (duodenum ).
The gallbladder is normal in size, shape,
The tracer may not be removed normally from
the bloodstream by the liver, meaning possible liver disease.
The gallbladder does not contract or empty normally.
The tracer may not reach the gallbladder,
meaning inflammation or blockage of the duct by a
The tracer may not reach the beginning of
the small intestine (duodenum), meaning blockage of a bile duct by a stone,
a tumor, infection, or inflammation of the
Pain occurs when the gallbladder empties