Meckels's Scan

What is a Meckels's Scan?

A Meckel’s scan looks for active gastric mucosa (stomach tissue) in the intestine which may cause a patient to bleed.


Your doctor will prescribe you a medicine called Ranitidine, which helps to better identify if a Meckel’s diverticulum is present. Please take this medication as prescribed by your doctor.

It is important that you do not have anything to eat or drink (except water) for 4 hours before the scan.


If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is essential that you let us know before your appointment date. If you are a female of child bearing age (12-55 years old), you will be asked about your pregnancy and breastfeeding status. If you are unable to confirm you are not pregnant a pregnancy test may be performed.


All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present (ie. trained member of staff).

The examination

Upon your arrival a radiographer will explain the procedure to you and will ask you a few questions about your health records. You will then have a cannula inserted into a vein in your arm and be positioned on the scan table. Once in position you will have a small amount of radioactive tracer injected through the cannula and the scan will start immediately. This is carried through the bloodstream to your stomach/abdomen to look for Meckel’s diverticulum. It emits gamma rays which will be detected by a piece of equipment called a gamma camera. This is a very quiet machine and you do not go through a tube or tunnel.

You do not need to undress for the examination, but you may need to remove metal objects from your clothing or pockets, such as coins, jewelry and/or belts as these will interfere with the quality of the pictures.

How long will it take?

The examination takes approximately 60 minutes.

Who will be present?

Your scan will be performed by a Nuclear Medicine trained member of staff which stays with you in the room while scanning.

Will the injection hurt?

The injection is similar to having blood taken. It will not make you drowsy or prevent you from driving a car.

Is radioactivity dangerous?

The amount of radiation involved is similar to that from an x-ray examination. The radioactivity naturally disperses from the body and is largely gone in 24 hours. The very low risk involved is balanced against the benefit of the information the examination provides for your doctors.