Hepatobiliary (HIDA) Scan Information Sheet

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What is a Hepatobiliary (HIDA) Scan?

A HIDA Scan shows us the function of your gallbladder. The tracer we use (called ‘HIDA’) is filtered from your bloodstream by your liver, and then passes into your gallbladder. It is then pushed out of your gallbladder when your body detects fatty food in your stomach. If your gallbladder is blocked or not functioning normally, it interrupts this process, which we can see on our images.

What preparation is required?

You will need to fast from midnight prior to the test – we require at least a 6hr fast. You may have water. Please call us if you are diabetic and we will discuss your specific case. You must also refrain from smoking, narcotics and opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Endone etc) for 24 hours prior to the test.

What happens during the test?

We will give you a small injection of a radioactive tracer into a vein in your arm. Images are taken immediately after the injection, for 1hr.

Sometimes we proceed to a second stage of imaging for a further hour. If you are required to undergo this further imaging, you will be required to eat a chocolate bar (or other fatty food) to encourage your gallbladder to contract.

We again take images for an hour. We may need you to return 4hrs after the initial injection for a further (5min) image.

Are there any side effects?

There should be no side effects from the tracer injection, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation used is quite small.

How long will the test take?

Please allow at least 2hrs for the first part of the test, and around 10min for the second part if required. You will not be required to stay in the hospital between the two parts.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Your doctors may have requested that you undergo this examination while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctors will have considered and discussed the risks and benefits of having the scan to the health of both you and your baby.

As part of the procedure you will be given the opportunity to further discuss any concerns that you may have including the potential risks and benefits with one of our staff members.

This examination may have been deemed suitable for you to undergo while you are breastfeeding. You will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours following the administration of the radiotracer. It is advised that you express and discard your breast milk during this period. You may resume routine breast feeding after 12 hours. Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.

If you are / could be pregnant OR are breast-feeding please call us to discuss your options

It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you

Please feel free to call us on 6244 2439 if you have any questions or to reschedule


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