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Colonic Study


  • You have been referred for a Colonic Study in which imaging is done over 5 Days.

  • The main indication for having this study is chronic constipation (1) and obstructed defecation (2).

  • You are required to drink a tiny amount of radioactive tracer mixed with milk on Monday morning. This takes 1 minute.

  • The tracer we use is called Gallium-67 Citrate and has no taste. There are rarely any side effects with this tracer.

  • Once you have had the tracer, we need to image your abdomen 6 hours later using a Gamma Camera (3). This takes 10 minutes and is usually done at approximately 3.00pm - 3.30pm.

  • We need to image your abdomen every day for one week i.e. Monday at 3.00pm, Tuesday at 3.00pm, Wednesday at 3.00pm, Thursday at 3.00pm and finally on Friday at 3.00pm.

  • Imaging only takes 10 minutes to do.

  • The 3.00pm time can be altered e.g. 3.30pm, 4.00pm, 4.30pm depending on gamma camera availability.

  • We will let you know the day before, precisely when we need you to return.

  • The results are usually sent to your referring doctor and take 1 - 2 days to be delivered.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a Colonic Study ~ up to 1.3 times your yearly background radiation (4).


Patient Preparation:

  • No fasting required. Have breakfast as per usual.

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • You must stop all laxatives 3 days prior the test.

  • No laxatives should be taken during the test.

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you are allowed to breast-feed as normal (5).



(1) Constipation is a condition in which a person has fewer than three bowel movements a week or has bowel movements with stools that are hard, dry, and small, making them painful or difficult to pass.

(2) Obstructed defecation (also known as rectal outlet obstruction, evacuatory dysfunction or obstructed defecation syndrome) is when you experience difficulty in evacuating (emptying) your rectum.

(3) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(4) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. Colonic Study with ~ 3.0mSv = 1.25 times yearly background dose.

(5) Gallium-67, when ingested, does not leave the gastro-intestinal tract, hence you can continue to breast-feed.

value. quality care. convenience.

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