Gastric Emptying Study

This exam demonstrates the time it takes for solid food to empty from the stomach.

Procedure

  • You will be given Egg Beaters mixed with a small amount of radioactive material.
  • A nuclear medicine technologist will then begin the scan which will require you to lie completely still on a stretcher under the camera for multiple images up to four hours (with breaks between images).

After the procedure

  • You will follow up with ordering doctor.

Preparation

  • You will have nothing by mouth for 6 hours prior to the scan.
  • Please bring a prescription if your doctor has given one to you.
  • There should be at least 48 hours between a barium study (barium enema, upper GI) and a gastric emptying study.
  • You should discontinue medication which affects gastric motility for at least 24 hours (e.g. Metoclopromide, Cisapride, Reglan, Imodium, Pro-Banthine, Lomotil).
  • Do not take any pain medication/opiates for 48 hours (e.g. Morphine, Dilaudid, Tylenol 3).
  • A number of medications may affect the result of your test. Please let your doctor know of any medications to ensure they would not interfere with the test.
  • Diabetics should be scheduled for an early morning study and generally take ½ dose of their usual morning insulin dose, followed by the radioactive meal.
  • Patients on oral hypoglycemics should be instructed to take their usual morning dose of hypoglycemic medication shortly before the radioactive meal.

Considerations

  • Tell the technologist about any medications you take.
  • Be aware this test could take up to 4 hours.
  • If your order is for a SOLID AND LIQUID phase, it will require two appointments at least two days apart. The liquid phase substitutes a liquid for the egg and takes only an hour. The two studies may be done in any order.
  • If you are pregnant or suspect you may be, contact your referring doctor.
  • Tell the technologist if you are planning to travel out of the country.
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