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Cholecystogram (Oral Cholecystogram)

WHAT IS CHOLECYSTOGRAM

An oral Cholecystogram is an X-ray test of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is located in the upper right-hand side of the abdominal cavity, just beneath the liver. It stores bile, which is a fluid produced by the liver that helps in digestion and absorption of fats from the diet. Oral refers to the oral medications that people consume before the test. The medicine is an iodine-based contrast agent that makes the gallbladder more evidently visible on the X-ray.

This process is not performed regularly since the primary method for imaging of the gallbladder has now transformed into an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan, which is usually followed by a hepatobiliary scan or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. These have been proven to be more accurate when it comes to the diagnosis of conditions related to the gallbladder.

HOW CHOLECYSTOGRAM IS DONE

Before the procedure

People should follow a low-fat or fat-free diet the day before the process such as fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, bread etc.  

The doctors recommend the consumption of contrast agent medication an evening before the procedure. Consumption of solid food is prohibited once the people have started taking the contrast agent medications. Drinking water is fine until midnight. Chewing gum and smoking should also be avoided.

People should not eat or drink anything the morning of the procedure. People should ask their doctors ahead of time if they are permitted to take routine medications, or if they should skip it. People might be able to take a few sips of water, but they have to ensure they ask their doctors first.

During the Test

Oral Cholecystogram could be performed as an outpatient process, and it could be done while the person is awake. People might be given a special high-fat drink to stimulate their gallbladder to contract and release bile, which could aid the doctors in identifying problems.

The doctors would probably make the person lie down on an exam table, but they might be asked to stand as well. This depends on what views of the gallbladder is required. Then, the doctors would use an X-ray camera known as a fluoroscope to see the gallbladder. People might be able to see what the doctor is witnessing on the monitor, depending on the room setup. The doctors would take X-rays throughout the examination. As long as no complications arise, people could go home after the process.

RISKS INVOLVED

Severe risks involved in oral Cholecystogram are rare. Some people might experience mild, temporary symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting

In some instances, people might also experience problems caused by an unpleasant reaction or mild allergic reaction to the contrast agent. Allergy or intolerance signs would include:

  • rash
  • itching
  • nausea

If people have any allergies to preservatives, food dyes, or animals, they should let the doctors know before taking the contrast agent.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The doctors would notify people of the results of the test and any treatments that might be needed to follow.

For example, cancerous growths and gallstones that cause pain or biliary dysfunction might be treated with medicines or surgery. Benign polyps on the gallbladder and small gallstones might not require any further treatment.

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