How To Prepare
Before the gallium scan, tell your doctor if:
- You are or might be pregnant.
- You are breast-feeding. If you will no longer be breast-feeding after the test, you will be asked to stop breast-feeding 2 weeks before the test so that the radioactive tracer will not build up in your breast tissue. If you will continue to breast-feed after the test, it is recommended that you not use your breast milk for 4 weeks after a gallium scan because the tracer can be passed to your baby. Some doctors may advise you to stop breast-feeding completely after this scan.
- Within the 4 days before the gallium scan, you have had an X-ray test using barium Reference contrast material Opens New Window (such as a Reference barium enema Opens New Window) or have taken a medicine (such as Pepto-Bismol) that contains bismuth. Barium and bismuth can interfere with test results.
Gallium builds up in the large intestine (colon) before it is eliminated in the stool. You may need to take a laxative the night before the scan and have an enema 1 to 2 hours before the scan to prevent the gallium in your colon from interfering with pictures of the area being studied.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 5, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology