What is a Gastric Emptying Study?
This examination is used to investigate the function of your stomach. It will assess how fast/slow food passes through your stomach. Although time consuming, it is simple and non-invasive.
You may have been referred for this procedure if you have or are suspected to have:
Gastroparesis - a disease where the stomach muscles are weakened, resulting in insufficient grinding and poor emptying of food from the stomach.
Dumping Syndrome - also known as rapid gastric emptying, food moves too quickly from the stomach to small bowel.
Or unexplained nausea and vomiting.
How long does a Gastric Emptying Study take?
Please allow up to 4 hours for this study to be completed. This study is booked first thing in the morning, this is due to the way your stomach functions.
What preparation is there for a Gastric Emptying Study?
You need to fast from Midnight the night before the test (8-hours fasting), and eat nothing until you come in for your appointment. You can have a small amount of water on the morning of the study.
Stop any medications that effect gastric movement, please speak with the staff when making your appointment.
Diabetic patients must withhold their medication on the morning of their test but are required to bring that medication to the test.
Please bring your referral from the doctor, any relevant recent scans/tests, and your Medicare card
What does a Gastric Emptying Study involve?
On arrival you will be asked to eat a small meal, consisting of two scrambled eggs. You will be asked to eat this within 5 minutes. A small amount of radioactive agent is added to the egg which allows us to track the movement of food through the stomach (there are no side effects from this radioactivity).
Once you have finished the meal imaging will commence immediately. You will be assisted laying down on the scanning camera bed and the camera will move in very close over your abdomen - it will not touch you and there are no sounds from the machine.
You will then be imaged every hour for four hours - please feel free to bring a book or activity to use between the images.
Although you are allowed to leave the department, you cannot eat or drink until the study is over. Most people choose to stay in the waiting room.
* If you have any allergies please let staff know when booking your scan and an alternative meal can be arranged.
When are the results available?
After your scan is completed a Nuclear Medicine Physician will review your scan and write a report of the results. This report and the scan images will be sent securely electronically to your referring doctor/specialist. If you require your results to be sent to a different doctor please advise the staff on the day of your scan.
Are there any costs for this scan?
No, your scan will be Bulk Billed. This means there is NO out of pocket cost for you if you qualify for Medicare.