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A HIDA scan is a test that uses a radioactive substance (or tracer) to examine the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts in detail. The radiation you are exposed to with the injected radioactive substance is about the same as a regular x-ray.


A HIDA scan is performed to detect abnormalities in the biliary system, such as inflammation of the gallbladder, abnormal gallbladder contractility, bile duct obstruction or liver disease. HIDA scans depict functional information that is not visible on routine x-ray or ultrasound examinations.


– No liquids or solids for at least 6 hours.

– On the day of your exam, please go directly to the 3310 Richmond location.

– Please be sure to bring the signed order from your physician requesting the examination, and your insurance cards as well.


The technologist will take a careful history. If there is a history of a bleeding diathesis, please notify the technologist. Any allergy to lidocaine should also be presented to the technologist in order that an alternate medication be used.

Typically no sedation is necessary for this exam. If you feel a need for sedation, please discuss this with the technologist prior to the day of your biopsy.

You will be positioned on the ultrasound table and the radiologist will perform an ultrasound of the breast. The radiologist will cleanse the skin with betadine and inject lidocaine into the skin and deeper tissues. A small skin nick will be made and the Mammotome™ or core needle advanced into the breast. Needle position will be confirmed at ultrasound and several biopsies performed. Please speak up if there is any discomfort.

Immediately after the biopsy, a radiopaque marker will be deployed at the biopsy site; this will confirm the location of the biopsy and assist the surgeon should a lumpectomy later be required.

Post-biopsy specimen radiograph and mammography may be performed to document the procedure.

The needle will be removed and compression applied to the breast. You will be given an ice pack to be used for four hours after the biopsy.

The final pathologic results are typically available within 2-3 days. A report will be delivered to your physician, typically within 24 hours of receiving the biopsy results.

A technologist will contact you after your procedure; please let her know if you have had any problems or complications.


– During the test, your first step is to have a radioactive substance (or tracer) injected into a vein in your arm. You will not feel any effects from the injection. The radioactive substance travels through the blood, and eventually into the liver and biliary tree.

– You will be imaged at the time of injection for a period of 60 minutes. You will be positioned on a table with the camera above you.

– Your physician may request a CCK or Kinevac challenge. Once the gallbladder is seen, you will receive an injection of hormone that causes the gallbladder to contract. An additional 30 minute imaging time is required. Please relate any symptoms at this time to the technologist.

– Your physician will receive a report within 24 -48 hours.