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Gallbladder Scan - Oral Cholecystogram (OCG)
Home > Patient Education > Gallbladder Scan - Oral Cholecystogram (OCG)

Preparation for Scan

Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your x-ray procedure. Our physicians and technologists are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your test. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for your diagnostic test

There are several locations where you can have your x-ray procedure. At the MMC Main Campus it is located on the 3rd floor of the main building. At the Lee Campus the X-ray department is on the 1st floor.

We want to make the experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7:00 AM and 4:30 PM

Before the Scan

You or your physician’s office will schedule the date and time of your appointment with Central Scheduling. They will instruct you on any special preparations or medications you need, where to get them and what time to arrive at the hospital. If you can’t remember when you are scheduled please call your physician or the Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at (814) 410-8470.

Please inform the physician if you are allergic to iodine or contrast media, or are taking diabetic medications like Glucophage, Metformin, or Glucovance. Special preparation may be needed before your scan. Your physician may order laboratory tests depending on your medical history.

You will be exposed to small amounts of short-lived radiation. If you are pregnant, think you might be, or are breast-feeding, tell the doctor and technologist before your test.

If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat or flu-like symptoms; or if you come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable disease, within 2 weeks prior to your scan, please call your physician. It may be necessary to reschedule your scan for a time when you are feeling better.

Follow this special preparation for your test. It will take a total of two days to complete.

Two days prior to your exam

  • For supper you must have a fat-free meal. Fat free means no milk, no butter, no salad dressing, and no ice cream.
  • Fat-free foods include fruit juice; clear broth; fresh or canned fruit such as peaches, pears, apples, plums, cantaloupe or melons; melba or plain toast without butter; jelly; water; plain gelatin; and tea or coffee without cream.
  • Stay on the fat-free diet and do not eat anything not on the above list.
  • At 6:00 pm, you need to take Telepaque tablets. These are an iodine tablets. You take a total of six (6) Telepaque tablets - taking one tablet every 5 minutes with water. Try to drink a full glass of water after the last tablet.
  • During preparation for the test, do not use any laxatives. If you experience any diarrhea or vomiting please contact your primary care physician.

The day prior to your exam

  • Stay on the fat-free diet.
  • At 6:00 pm, take six (6) Telepaque tablets - taking one tablet every 5 minutes with water. Try to drink a full glass of water after the last tablet.
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink after midnight until your test is completed.

The Day of your Scan

Wear loose fitting, clean, comfortable clothing and flat shoes.

Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having any procedures.

Please bring any order that your physicians office provided for you. If you were not contacted by pre-certification please bring your identification and insurance cards.

Please bring a list of your medicines, over-the- counter drugs, and herbal drugs. Also bring a list of allergies to food, latex, or medicine.

Parking is available in the parking lot outside of the buildings. At the Main Campus you can park in the garage on Franklin Street or use the valet at the Main Entrance on Franklin Street. Please bring your parking ticket with you to receive a token for free parking in the garage. At the Lee Campus you can park in the garage on Walnut Street. Please remember to bring your ticket with you to receive a rebate ticket for free parking in the garage. You will need to take both tickets back to the garage on the first floor. First you will need to put your parking ticket in the machine and then the rebate ticket. You will be given another ticket to exit the garage. 

When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Outpatient Registration desk. At the Main Campus it is to the left in the main lobby on the first floor. If you are going to the Lee Campus the Outpatient Registration Desk is in the main lobby. You will be registered and then escorted to the Radiology department waiting area. Once there you will sign in at the reception desk. If you were pre-registered you can go directly to the radiology department.

Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.

The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, birth date, what procedure you are having done, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.

During the Scan

The people around you in the room will be preparing for your procedure. The technologist will explain everything that is happening. Please tell them of any allergies you may have or if you are pregnant or think you might be.

You will be asked to void and then to change into a gown and helped to lie face down with the right side slightly raised on an examination table. You will be given a lead apron to drape over part of your body to shield it from x-rays. At times you may need to take a deep breath and hold it. You will need to keep still so the image isn’t blurred. The x-ray itself is painless. Each photographic image generally takes a few seconds. The image is usually transferred to a computer where it can be studied or printed out.

The x-ray technologist will take a preliminary x-ray to make sure the gallbladder is well visualized. The radiologist will review the x-rays. One more film will be taken in an upright position.

A special machine called fluoroscopy is then used. A continuous or pulsed x-ray beam is controlled by a switch. When this beams strikes the photographic plate it creates a sequence of images that are projected onto a television-like monitor. This enables the Radiologist to see the area in motion. The Radiologist performs the initial fluoroscopy and monitors all of the post imaging performed by the technologist. The exposure to x-rays may be a little higher than a normal x-ray. The Radiologists and technologists are trained to deliver dosages that are not harmful and that are within strictly established guidelines.

The radiologist may ask for another film to be taken 30 minutes after a fatty meal. You will be given something to eat or drink. Another film will be taken to evaluate any changes in the gallbladder. You may have delayed films taken if this doesn't occur. The exam usually takes one hour to complete.

After the Scan

When your scan is over, the technologist will help you off the table. You may leave immediately. If you had a change in diet before the scan, you may resume your normal diet. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids for several days unless otherwise contraindicated. If you become constipated make sure you speak to the physician that ordered the test.

A doctor who is a radiologist will study your scans and report the results to your doctor. Your doctor will generally discuss the results with you at your next physician’s office visit. Talk with your doctor or testing center about how to get your test results.

If your testing was ordered STAT by your physician, a preliminary report will be phoned or faxed to them shortly after the completion of your test.

Thank-you for allowing us to take care of you during your radiology exam.