HIDA Scan in Thibodaux, LA

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A HIDA (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid) scan, better known as a liver scan, uses a radioactive tracer to help GI specialists diagnose issues within the gastrointestinal system. This "nuclear medicine," as it's called, uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and even treat diseases of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Radiotracers are often provided in the form of an IV injection. From there a special camera called a nuclear medicine gamma camera forms images of where the radiotracer is in the body. The data and information provided can include if organs are working properly based on whether the tissues are absorbing the radiotracer and at what rate. With this information, your Thibodaux, LA GI specialists can form a diagnosis and create a treatment plan.

A HIDA scan is performed to assess gallbladder function and other functions of the GI tract. Prior to your exam, you'll be asked not to consume anything by mouth four hours ahead of time. We'll also ask that you refrain from using pain medication on the day of your HIDA scan.

Once ready for the procedure, we'll inject a small amount of radioactive tracer. This injection is similar to having blood drawn and should only be mildly uncomfortable if at all. The scan should not be uncomfortable. While you're lying on one of our treatment tables, we'll situate our specialized camera over your chest and abdomen, where various images will be taken. Depending on your GI function, this could take anywhere from 1 – 4 hours.

Additionally, your GI specialist may request a gallbladder emptying study. This would start at the same time as your HIDA scan. A CCK enzyme will be provided to stimulate the emptying of your gallbladder. During this time you may experience some nausea and/or cramping. This is perfectly normal and should only last about 10 minutes. It's important that you remember to remain still so as not to compromise the results of the HIDA scan. We will also take images of your gallbladder as it contracts.

HIDA scans are very safe. The nuclear medication and scan carry no greater risk than that of a standard X-ray. The radiation used during these exams is often less than that used in an X-ray, even. While possible, adverse reactions and side effects are very rare, and you likely will not feel any discomfort during or after your exam. If you have other safety concerns, please feel free to reach out to anyone on our gastroenterology team prior to your appointment.

If it has been suggested that you or a loved one would benefit from a HIDA scan, you might be a little nervous at first. However, these effective scans are very safe and our expert team at Digestive Health Center is proud to offer this procedure as well as many others to help you enhance your GI health. At each of our Thibodaux, LA locations, we take a patient-centric approach so you can come to our office feeling comfortable and heard. When you put your trust in Digestive Health Associates, you are putting your trust in one of the nation's largest physician-led GI networks. For more information on the HIDA scan and other innovative treatment options available to you, contact your nearest location to request a consultation.

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