Questions about hidascan

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CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1327
   Posted 6/11/2007 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
   Well, my h.Pylori was negative and my ultrasound this morning of my gb, liver, pancreas and right kidney was normal (except for fatty infiltration of the liver).  The doctor just called and said he was going to order a Hida scan.  Now I'm scared.  This always happens with me.  I feel horrible, but as soon as the doc starts ordering tests I get nervous, and want to just forget about it all and hope the symptoms go away.
   My nausea is a little better, but that's why I went to the doc to start with.  I had been nauseous for about a month.(mostly after having a colonoscopy.....and now I'm taking probiotics).    I do have an intermittant pain in my left mid-section......which now I'm thinking is my stomach.
   Anyhow.........do you think a Hida scan is really necessary?   Might it show why I've had diarrhea for 10 years?
I guess I want to wait a little while before having it, since my nausea seems to be improving a bit. (maybe the probiotics are finally  helping???)  Or......maybe I'm just scared and making excuses?
   Is the Hida scan really uncomfortable?  What does it entail?  Might I have a weird reaction to the stuff they inject?  Do you have to lay there for 2 hours, or do they let you go back and sit in the waiting room??
   I'm having so many weird symptoms, which I'm thinking is my fibromyalgia rearing its ugly head.
   Do you think it reasonable to do a Hida scan, or is it over kill???    Will it subject me to radioactive stuff that might hurt me??  Thanks for your help.

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/11/2007 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
One, yes, a hida scan isn't a bad idea since stomach upset (including nausea) along with diarrhea are two major signs of a bad gall bladder (of course, they can also be signs of bacteria problems, IBS, etc., but the point is that gall bladder disease is included in the realm of possibility).

Two, the Hida Scan is somewhat uncomfortable when they inject the stuff that makes your gall bladder empty. You might cramp some and/or feel really nauseated. I had a mixture of a lot of nausea with feelings of indigestion, but it will go away after about 5-7 minutes.

Three, it works like this: they will put a line into your hand or inner elbow. You will be put up on a narrow table and given an injection of the radioactive isotopes. Then the camera head wil be put over you (I can't remember how close it is, but I'm claustrophobic and it didn't bother me). Once a certain amount of time has passed and the radioactive bits are concentrated in your gall bladder, they will give you a second injection and this will make your gall bladder empty and the camera will track how long and how much of the isotopes empty from your gall bladder.

Four, I don't think I was on the table but maybe 30 minutes. 45 minutes tops. Certainly not 2 hours. If they quoted you 2 hours for the procedure, they're almost certainly including the waiting-room time, plus getting the line put in. I've had three and they're not that terrible. The two worst bits are the needle (because I hate needles, lol) and getting nauseated and not being able to sit up. Always before, when my gall bladder made me sick, I found that sitting up made me less nauseated, but obviously you can't do that while you're laying down being photographed.

Five, if the radioactive stuff would hurt you, they wouldn't give it to you. Period. Like I said, I've had 3 done and nothing's happened to me. My stepfather is a retired nuclear medicine tech, and he did two of my scans himself. He's been handling that radioactive stuff for something like 15-20 years. We think that's maybe why he has arthritis in his hands, but other than that, he seems to have no problems from it; if all that stuff over all those years didn't make him glow green, I doubt it will you. :-)

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1327
   Posted 6/11/2007 1:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Keriamon,
I don't know what I'm going through......maybe it is just a terrible fibromyalgia flare, but I've become incredibly anxious over any kind of testing. I have so many frightening sensations in my body, and I'm so afraid of them during testing. I have a huge fear of some catastrophe happening, and no one is around to help me.
Is the nausea so bad that you start wretching??
Does your back hurt lying still all that time? I'm glad you mentioned that it didn't seem to bother your claustraphobia, because I have that too.
Do you only get nausea if your gall bladder is bad?
I'm sort of a natural person, and I do worry about doing alot of unnatural things unnecessarily to my body.
I have "fatty infiltration" of my liver......would that cause a bad reaction during the test?
Are we allowed to have any kind of sedative for anxiety?
I really appreciate your info here Keriamon! Thanks!

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/11/2007 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
It could be a fibormyalgia flare; they have discovered, fairly recently, I think, that fibormyalgia does have an effect on the bowels. It seems only logical that it might also effect the stomach as well. But, you'll not be able to know that for sure if you don't make sure that the gall bladder is functioning okay.

No, the nausea was never so bad that I vomited. It is a possibility, but it's my understanding that most people do not, even if they have a very bad gall bladder.

No, my back didn't hurt me lying down, but then I was 23 and I don't have fibro. If you have a bad pressure point in your lower back, hip, knee, etc., make sure you tell the technician and ask if you could have a thin pillow to lay the affected body part on. I know I had a pillow for my head; I don't know if they can put a pillow under your back because they may not can cover the table up with anything extra and still get a good picture, but from the waist-down, they should be able to help you out. They may strap you to the table, which they never did to me, but it's such a narrow table, it can be hard to keep your arms propped up on it comfortably, so you may feel that you want it in order to be able to lay in a more relaxed state and not feel like you're falling off. Of course, you may go to a facility that has upgraded their tables for larger people, meaning they'd be comfortable for a normal-sized person.

No, you don't only get nauseated when your gall bladder is bad; the medicine can make anyone a bit sick, so if you get nauseated during the test, don't think Ah, ha! that's the problem!

I think every person in America has a fatty liver these days. It's either because that's the new "epidemic" that the medical field has invented, or because we all have such bad diets and eat so many bad fats that end up getting concentrated in the liver. Hey, someone can make good patte out of your one day! :-) I have no idea why that particular "problem", though would hurt anyone during a test; like I said, I think everyone has that problem nowadays. The medicine doesn't effect the liver at all: it just simulates the chemical change that happens when you eat a meal and makes the gall bladder empty. I think it makes you nauseated because there's no actual food in your stomach, so that bile dump is happening when it shouldn't be, and that's why it makes everyone a bit queasy.

I don't know about the sedative. I don't think it would interfere with the test, but you would need to ask your doctor for it in advance; the most he'd let you have, I'm sure, was a valium, or something of that nature, just to take the edge off. Nothing as strong as what they give you for a colonoscopy; they won't knock you out for it. The lab tech won't be able to give you anything since he's not allowed to dispense anything like that, so, like I said, you will need to get a prescription in advance. And, of course, someone to drive you home after taking it.

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1327
   Posted 6/11/2007 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL Keriamon! My kids will be so excited to hear that I'm leaving them a really rich pate' one day! hahahahaha
I wonder if everyone has a fatty liver. Maybe we're supposed to? I wonder if people in other developed countries tend to have them too?
Thanks for explaining everything to me. I'm still nervous about it, but with all my GI problems for 10 years, I think its probably good to make sure it isn't something that needs to come out.
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