Gallbladder Scan

Imaging for gallbladder function

A gallbladder scan is used to evaluate gallbladder function. This scan can locate blockages in the tubes that lead from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine.

This procedure involves the injection of a small amount of radioactive dye into the body. The dye accumulates in the gallbladder, and images are collected based on how the dye travels through the system and how the radiation is absorbed by the tissues.

Gallbladder scans are also performed to:

  • Help determine the cause of pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Evaluate the function of the gallbladder
  • Help determine the cause of jaundice

A gallbladder scan typically takes about one to two hours to perform, but can last up to four hours.