This is a test to measure the movement of food through your stomach and bowel. For this test a small amount of radioactive compound is added to a cooked egg and placed in a sandwich which you will eat. A different compound is 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.

You should cease laxatives 3 days prior and during the duration of the study. Otherwise, you may take all of your usual medications.

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 intolerences.

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

What to Expect?

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. Pictures will continue to be taken for the next 2-3 hours. You will then be required to return to the department in the afternoon for images of the bowel. This takes approximately 20 minutes. You must then return each day in the morning for the rest of the week. You will also be asked to keep a diary of all that you eat and your bowel movements for the week. You must bring this with you when you return on Friday.

You are free to leave the hospital between the first and second part of the scan. You may eat and drink as you wish.

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


In general, 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.

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

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, which is located on the ground floor of North Shore Private Hospital in Westbourne St.

If you have any questions please phone North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine on 8425 3684. We will be happy to answer any queries that you may have.

Additional Information