The liver produces a number of different substances that are used within the body. Enzymes and hormones are produced continuously in the body and let out into the blood or other systems of the body. One such enzyme produced in the body is known as bile. Bile is a fluid that is produced to help with the process of breaking down heavy foods in the small intestine. The liver produces bile continuously through the day. This is done to ensure that there is sufficient bile stored for the time when food arrives in the small intestine. Bile is stored in the gallbladder. During digestion, bile is released from the gallbladder and from the liver at the same time. This double dose of bile is enough to ensure that the process of digestion is successful.
The gallbladder can be affected by a number of different conditions. A gallbladder scan is used to determine if the patient is suffering from any of these conditions. The doctor may also advise a gallbladder scan with CCK to be conducted. Individuals who undergo a gallbladder scan will usually report some pain in their abdomen. Such individuals may also report digestive distress, particularly when handling heavy meals that rely on bile for digestion.
A gallbladder scan is conducted by injecting a special dye substance into the blood of the individual. The liver is responsible for cleaning out certain substances from the blood. The liver will therefore clear out the dye and pass some of it into the bile system.
At this time, images are taken using a scanning machine set to pick up the contrast material. The doctor can therefore track the path of the fluid as it passes out of the liver. Since the dye will mix with bile, the doctor will be able to track the movement of bile through the individual's body.
The gallbladder scan test results will be available with the doctor and interpreted by him/her. The gallbladder scan results will be discussed with the patient after the procedure. In most cases, a blockage or some abnormality will be detected and explained to the patient. Subsequent care will be planned by the doctor depending on whether the patient needs to be treated or if the condition is self rectifying.
The gallbladder scan preparation involves a period of fasting before the test. The doctor will explain how long the individual needs to fast before the procedure. Apart from this, there is nothing major that needs to be done as part of the gallbladder scan preparation.
The patient will be allowed to eat after the scan is complete. It is necessary however that the patient discusses certain issues with the doctor before they go in for the procedure. Questions about the gallbladder scan side effects, gallbladder scan cost, its effectiveness and so on are best answered before the scan takes place.