Biliary Scan

Also known as: HIDA scan, Hepatobiliary scan, Gallbladder scan.

A Biliary scan is performed to assess the ability of the gallbladder to fill and empty as well as the function of the biliary tree.

Please advise us beforehand

Please make staff aware if you are, or think you could be pregnant, breast-feeding, claustrophobic and/or if you are the primary/sole carer for small children when you book your appointment.

Bring any previous Nuclear Medicine scans or any other scans relating to the area of interest.


You must fast for at least 8 hours prior to your scan and not longer than 10 hours.

You may eat normally until your fasting time begins.

Opiate medication (e.g. Endone) must be ceased more than 8 hours prior to the test.

Special precautions

In general, allergic reactions to the injection are extremely rare. However in a very small percentage of people, minor bruising may occur around the injection site.

What happens during the procedure

Part 1: You will be positioned under the Gamma Camera and given a small injection of a radioactive tracer. This injection shouldn’t make you feel any different and allows images to be taken of the biliary system. Images are commenced at the time of injection and are taken continuously for approximately one hour.

Part 2: Depending on the function of the gallbladder and the purpose of the scan, you may be given a meal replacement drink (Ensure Plus) followed by up to another one hour of continuous images. Occasionally, a low dose of Morphine may be used during the test.

How long does it take?

The test usually takes approximately 2 hours. However, this test can take between 1-3 hours.

After your examination

It is recommended that you minimise close contact with others (especially babies and small children) for up to 24 hours. Ensure you drink plenty of water to flush out your system.

Your images and report

After your examination, the most pertinent images from your study will be available on the myPRP patient portal. A report, along with the images will be sent directly to your referring doctor. PRP will store digital copies of all studies on our secure database for comparison with any future examinations.
Please bring any previous X-rays with you.
It is important that you return to your doctor with your examination results. Whether they are normal or abnormal, your doctor needs to know promptly so that a management plan can be formulated.