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Hida (hepatobiliary) scan

Hida (hepatobiliary) scans can be used to help diagnose a variety of diseases, such as gallbladder inflammation, or cholecystitis and more. Book online today

What is a Hida Scan?

The term ‘hepatobiliary’ refers to the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts. A hepatobiliary scan shows how your liver, gall bladder (if you have one) and ducts are working using a radioactive tracer. The tracer localises in the liver and gall bladder and then drains through the biliary ducts into the gut. The distribution of tracer is scanned (detected) using a Gamma Camera.

What is this scan used for?

HIDA scans can be used to help diagnose a variety of diseases. These include:

  • Gallbladder inflammation, or cholecystitis
  • Bile duct blockages
  • Congenital bile duct abnormalities, such as biliary atresia, a rare condition that affects infants
  • Complications following operations, including bile leaks and fistulas, or abnormal connections between different organs

HIDA scans may also be used to evaluate a liver transplant. The scans may be done periodically to make sure the new liver is working properly.

How can I prepare for this procedure?

  • Please do not have anything to eat or drink for at least six hours prior to the scan. If you need to take any medication you may do so with a small amount of water.
  • You will not need to undress as long as there are no metal items on your clothing.
  • Please contact us if you are lactose intolerant.
  • If there is any chance you could be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, please inform the Department at least 24 hours before your appointment on 0161 495 7040.

What happens during the procedure?

  • The scan involves lying on the scanning couch under the gamma camera, but you will not be totally enclosed.
  • The injection of radioactive tracer is given into your arm or hand. The first part of the scan begins as soon as the tracer is injected and may last up to one hour. You will then be given a drink which is like a milkshake to help stimulate the gallbladder. Immediately after the drink you will have the second part of the scan to measure the effect of the drink. This may also last up to one hour.
  • You should not feel any side effects.

How can I book a HIDA scan?

A HIDA scan is something that will be recommended by your Consultant, at which point our team will arrange an appointment for you. 
If you think you may need a HIDA scan and you aren’t speaking to one of our Consultants yet, book an initial consultation using our online booking portal. If you need a HIDA scan, they will arrange it for you. 

Paying for your procedure

The costs of a HIDA scan are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own scan, please ask for the cost of the procedure to be explained when you book the appointment.