A Liver Scan is used to help diagnose hepatic disorders/diseases, as well as problems in other parts of the digestive system. It is used to evaluate functional disorders in the liver. We are able to observe the structure of the liver or changes in the size or shape of the liver or spleen.
Is There Any Special Preparation Needed Before the Test?
No special preparation is required before having a bone scan. You can eat and drink before the procedure. If any special preparation is required, your doctor will give you instructions.
How is the Test Performed?
You will receive an injection into a vein in your arm. It contains a very small amount of radioactive material tracer. Adverse reaction to this injection is very rare. This tracer is carried in the blood to the liver and spleen. Sometimes, images may be taken to see blood flow to the liver and spleen.
After this, you will have to wait 5 – 10 minutes. This time frame ensures that tracer is absorbed by the liver and spleen.
When you return from the waiting period, you will be asked to lie still on an imaging table. Images of your liver will then be obtained by a gamma camera. This camera detects the tracer that is absorbed into your liver and spleen. This usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
What Happens After the Test?
When the exam is completed, the nuclear medicine physician will review your images, prepare a written report and discuss the results with your doctor. Your doctor will then explain the test results to you and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.
What Other Information Should I Know?
- The amount of radiation you will receive during the test is no more than what you would receive from similar x-ray procedures.
- Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, think that you are pregnant or are a nursing mother.
- The tracer you are given remains in your body for a short time and is cleared from the body through natural bodily functions. Drinking plenty of fluids will help eliminate the material more quickly.
- You should be able to resume your daily activities after the test.