Gastrointestinal & Hepatobiliary Imaging
Augusta Health routinely performs many gastrointestinal studies:
- Gastric emptying
- GI bleeding
- Meckels scans
How do I prepare for the test?
Preparation for nuclear medicine exams vary according to the type of procedure being performed. Instructions are given at the time of scheduling, but most of all, gastrointestinal studies require that you do not eat for at least six to eight hours prior to the test. Do not take any medications on the day of your exam as they can affect your gastric functions. Wear comfortable clothes without metal or you will be asked to change into a hospital gown if necessary.
Most common reasons to order a gastrointestinal study in nuclear medicine are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and satiety issues.
Suggestion to patient:
If you own an IPOD or MP3 player, feel free to bring it with you. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to read during these procedures.
During the test
Hepatobiliary scans with or without CCK
This study evaluates the function of the gallbladder, ducts and small intestine. During this procedure, you will be lying on your back on a comfortable table. You will be given a radiopharmaceutical injection through an IV. A gamma camera will be positioned over your abdomen which takes images continuously for 60 to 90 minutes. It is very important that you lie very still and breathe normally.
Gastric Empty Scans
This scan evaluates the function of the stomach. You will be given an egg that has the radiopharmaceutical mixed in it with toast and 8 oz of water. During this procedure, you will be lying on your back on a comfortable table. A gamma camera will be positioned over your abdomen which takes images continuously for two hours. It is very important that you lie very still and breathe normally.
What Happens After the Nuclear Medicine Scan?
There are no restrictions after the gastric scans and you can go about your normal activities. A radiologist or nuclear medicine physician experienced in nuclear medicine will analyze the images and send a report of the diagnosis to your physician. Your physician will discuss the results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
Billing & Payment
Your physician must provide a referral in order for you to receive a nuclear medicine scan. Some insurance carriers require pre-authorization. Please discuss this with your physician's office staff prior to your exam. Please bring your insurance cards, driver's license, and any records from prior exams done at other hospitals that relate to your current nuclear medicine exam. You will receive two bills for your exam: a bill from the hospital for the nuclear scan and a bill from the radiologist for interpreting your scan.