Nuclear Medicine Gastric

& Gallbladder Scans

What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic tool that uses a scanner and a minimal amount of radioactive material to create images of your tissues and organs. Two forms of nuclear medicine scans are commonly used by gastroenterologists such as Dr. Khorrami to evaluate stomach and gallbladder disorders.

What is a Gallbladder Scan?
Gallbladder scans use a trace amount of radioactive tracer to evaluate gallbladder function and health. The injected substance is designed to travel through the body and accumulate in the gallbladder. This allows the physician to specifically follow the tracer into your gallbladder and see if it is working properly.

Nuclear medicine scans are used to evaluate gallbladder disorders including:
  • Gallstones
  • Jaundice
  • Blockages
  • Abdominal pain
You may be asked to follow specific instructions before the test such as fasting a certain number of hours. The whole procedure will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Complications are rare, but some people may experience a reaction to the radioactive tracer medication that is used. Also, some may notice minor irritation at the site of the intravenous injection.

What is a Gastric Emptying Scan?
A gastric emptying study uses nuclear medicine technology to evaluate how food travels through the stomach. Similar to the gallbladder scan, a gastric emptying scan uses a trace amount of radioactive material to get the appropriate test pictures. For this test, the radioactive tracer is mixed with food such as an egg sandwich which is then eaten by the patient. Subsequent scans show how fast the stomach can process the food.

Nuclear medicine gastric emptying studies are used to evaluate disorders including:
  • Gastroparesis
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fullness and abdominal distention
  • Rapid gastric emptying
You may be asked to follow specific instructions before the test such as fasting a certain number of hours. The entire procedure may take up to 5 hours, as the gamma camera will capture images at intervals which may last up to several hours. Some patients bring a book to read while the procedure is performed.

Discuss Your Options with Dr. Khorrami
Dr. Khorrami has been in practice since 1996 as a double-board certified gastroenterologist and primary care physician, has experienced a variety of patient cases, and is well equipped to solve your digestive problems and general conditions. Get in touch to learn more about nuclear medicine (e.g. gastric & gallbladder scans) and how you can benefit from them.


“Dr. Khorrami and his team are the best. They provide full service care that is above and beyond the norm these days."
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About Dr. Khorrami

Dr. Payman Khorrami is a UCLA graduate, has been in practice since 1996, and is double board certified. Undergraduate Education at University of California, Berkeley, Medical School at University of California, San Francisco, Internal Medicine Training at University of California, San Diego Read Full Bio