Gastric Emptying Study

This is a test to measure the movement of food through your stomach.

For this test, a small amount of radioactive compound is added to a cooked egg and placed in a sandwich for ingestion. A different compound is then added to a small cup of water, which is drunk after the sandwich. A specialised camera is then used to take pictures (scans) of your stomach.

Please remember to bring your requesting letter and any recent X-rays or CT scans. At the time of your appointment, report to North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, located on the ground floor of North Shore Private Hospital in Westbourne Street, St Leonards.

Take all your usual medications unless advised by your physician.

You should fast from midnight the night before the commencement of the test. Please inform the technologist when booking the appointment if you have any food allergies or intolerances.

Images will be taken over two hours.

After the test is explained to you, a technologist will take you to the scanning area. You will be given the sandwich to eat and the radiolabelled water to drink, and then a set of pictures will be taken. Images will continue to be taken for the next two hours.

There are no side effects or reactions from the radiolabelled compound you have ingested. The procedure itself is entirely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.

The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so please inform us before the test begins if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant.

You can drive home after the scan. You will not be drowsy in any way.

Generally, the scans and results are sent to your doctor the next working day. Depending on the type of scan you are having (and the clinical urgency), you may be able to take the scan with you in some cases. However, there will be a delay while the report is typed.

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