What is a Meckels scan?
A Meckels scan looks for the presence of Meckels diverticuli in the large intestine. A diverticulum is an out-pouching, or small pocket, in the wall of the large intestine.
We do the test by giving your child an intravenous radiopharmaceutical. This "tracer" is medicine combined with a small amount of radioactive material. It travels to the area of your child we need to see and is detected and imaged by a gamma camera.
Radiopharmaceuticals are carefully tested. The risk of side effects is extremely small. Most radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine studies give less radiation exposure than a day at the beach.
What should you do prior to your child's exam?
- Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink for four hours prior to the test.
- Your child should not receive barium (radiographic contrast agent) 24 hours prior to the test.
- Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are easily removed. Your child may be given a gown to change into for the procedure.
- We have a large variety of video entertainment to choose from. Your child can also bring along a favorite movie to watch during the exam.
- You may want to bring a snack or drink for your child to have after the exam.
Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany their child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.
What should you expect during the exam?
- A technologist or nurse will place an IV in your child’s arm, hand or foot. Your child may feel a small pinch.
- The technologist will ask why the Meckels Scan is being done and will explain the study to you and your child.
- Your child will lie down on our exam table and the technologist will inject the tracer through the IV line.
- Imaging will take place immediately. The camera will be above the table and will come close to, but will not touch your child. The scan will take 30 to 60 minutes.
- We do not sedate for this procedure.
If you’d like, our child life specialists will help you prepare and support your child during the procedure. We can also arrange to have a child life specialist at your child's appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways and to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience.
What should you do after the exam?
There are no special instructions for your child to follow after the test.
The images from your child's exam are interpreted on the same day and a report is sent to your physician's office.
Your physician may call 215-590-2584 with questions about the exam.