We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Cholecystography?

Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Gallstones are a fairly common occurrence, forming in the gall bladder where the body's bile is stored. About 80 percent of those who develop these stones learn they are there through an x-ray examination known as a cholecystography. When pain persists, this test's confirmation of gallstones might be followed by surgical excision, dietary changes, or even a long regimen of drugs to slowly shrink them.

A cholecystography test often is ordered by a doctor after a patient complains of various symptoms that point to the presence of gallstones. This condition, known as cholelithiasis, primarily affects women, though both genders are susceptible. At 65, the chances are highest to develop symptoms of cholelithiasis like nausea, intense abdominal or back pain, digestive difficulty, and bloating. These pain attacks typically happen at rest, especially after having eaten a fatty meal.

The night before a cholecystography is performed, patients are made to take the contrast dye pills. This will spread throughout the bloodstream and into the gall bladder to produce radiological images that can confirm the suspected presence of abnormal growths in the organ. Radiologists are trained to identify not just gallstones during this test but other growths like tumors or polyps as well as an infection or an overall lack of proper function. Patients are regularly told to eat a fat-free meal the night before the test, then fast until after the appointment the next day.

During the test a radiologist is likely to ask for the patient to remove all clothing and jewelry and wear a hospital gown. Also common is the technologist performing an enema on the patient to remove any obsctruction in the bowels that could interfere with results. The remainder of the procedure involves lying still while a radiologist takes pictures of the abdomen, aimed at providing a view from every angle. A fatty type of food may be fed to the patient as well, and then more images are obtained to gauge how well the gall bladder is functioning.

According to the Medical University of South Carolina, a cholecystography is becoming a more dated technology in the diagnostics field. In 2011, doctors are more likely to order a nuclear, computer tomography or ultrasound test to diagnose an internal condition like gall stones. No matter how the confirmation is achieved, the typical follow-up after a cholecystography depends on how much occlusion was seen. A low-fat diet can help some whose stones are not that pronounced or regularly painful. Others may only find relief after a long regimen of medication or surgical removal.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.