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What is a hepatobiliary or HIDA scan?

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A hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid, or HIDA, scan is a test that helps medical professionals find problems with the liver and the gallbladder, according to Mount Sinai Hospital. It uses a specialized camera to take images of the area at five- to 10-minute intervals over an hour or so.

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A HIDA scan is recommended when the patient suffers from jaundice or abdominal pain that the doctor thinks might be caused by gallbladder problems, says Mount Sinai Hospital.

Before the HIDA scan, the patient is injected with a tracer drug and may be given a sedative, says Mount Sinai Hospital. Unlike other medical procedures, the patient may be asked to eat a fatty meal to stimulate the digestive process.

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