Hepatobiliary Scan (HIDA)

A Hepatobiliary or HIDA Scan is an exam of the gallbladder and the hepatobiliary system (the ducts connecting the gallbladder to the liver and the small bowel). The scan is done to evaluate the function of the liver and gallbladder.

In preparation for this exam, your child must not have anything to eat or drink (including water or medication) for 4 hours prior to the exam.  However, they need to have had eaten something within 12 hours of your appointment time. For a morning exam, we recommend a late-night snack, followed by fasting until scan time. For afternoon exams, we recommend an early breakfast followed by fasting until scan time. Please be aware that all birth assigned females 10 years of age or older will need to submit a urine sample prior to imaging. A sample cup will be provided at the 5th floor check-in desk.

For the exam, an IV will be placed. Our staff is well trained in safe placement and pain reduction techniques and will work with you to limit the discomfort of this necessity. Once the IV has been placed, your child will lay down on our imaging table for the scan. The scan will take about 2 hours from this point.  Depending on the indication for the study your child may receive medication through the IV to stimulate the gallbladder (CCK) or they may have additional images beyond 2 hours.

Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are free from metal. To help your child successfully complete the exam, we have a variety of DVDs to choose from. Your child may also bring a favorite movie to watch during the exam.

Once the scan is complete, the images will be evaluated by a Radiologist. If the scan is satisfactory and no additional images are needed, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.