What Is A Pipida Scan?

Submitted by Nic on October 18, 2012

The gall bladder is a small sac like bladder located just below the liver. This bladder is designed to collect bile, a digestive fluid produced in the liver. Bile is used to break down fats during the process of digestion. Bile is therefore released into the small intestine during digestion. The liver is not capable of producing enough bile to support digestion, especially digestion of a heavy meal. The gall bladder therefore collects bile from the liver that is produced during times when digestion is not taking place. This additional bile is released along with the liver produced bile. This gives the digestive system enough bile to deal with the meal that has been consumed.

The pipida scan is a type of scan used to determine the functioning of the gall bladder and related parts of the bile delivery system. Many individuals suffer from gall stones, a condition that blocks the flow of bile and, therefore, hampers digestion. The liver may be healthy in this situation and will continue to produce bile. A blocked gall bladder may cause pain to the individual, especially when digestion is taking place.

The pipida scan for gall bladder differs from a Hepatobiliary Scan because of the type of tracer material used. The pipida scan also uses imaging along with a tracer material that can be used to enhance the visibility of the bile ducts and the gall bladder.

The pipida scan procedure begins with the patient arriving after having fasted for a few hours. This will ensure that the stomach is empty and that there is no hindrance to the pipida scan procedure. The patient will then be given an injection with the tracer material. This material is allowed to flow to the liver where it is filtered out. Once this happens, the material is passed into the biliary system where it collects in the gall bladder.

At this stage, the patient will be given a drug that stimulates the gall bladder. Under normal operating conditions, the gall bladder releases bile when it is stimulated by the process of digestion. In this case, there is no food involved, which is why the drug is needed to stimulate the bladder. The gall bladder then releases bile into the digestive system. If there is a failure in the bladder or the ducts, the patient may experience pain.

The pipida scan results may take up to four hours depending on the extent of the blockage, following which, treatment options will be explored with the doctor.

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