Gastric Emptying Scan Information Sheet

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What is a Gastric Emptying Scan?

A Gastric Emptying Scan assesses the speed at which your stomach processes food. It is often performed when you doctor suspects that a stomach dysfunction is causing your symptoms.

What preparation is required?

We need you to fast from midnight the night before the test. A small amount of water is permitted. Please also avoid smoking and caffeine for 24hrs before the test. If you are an insulin dependent diabetic, please bring your insulin with you.

Should I continue taking my medications as normal?

Depending upon the reason for undergoing the test, you may be required to cease some of your medications for a period of 48 – 72 hours.

Please contact us (ph 6244 4345) if you are taking any prokinetic or narcotic agents.

Prokinetic agents include:

Bethanecohol (Urecholine)

Cisapride (Prepulsid / Propulsid)

Domperidone (Costi, Motillium, Motinorm)

Metclopramide (Reglan or Maxalon)

Narcotic agents include:



What happens during the test?

When you arrive we will make meal for you to eat, with 2 slices of toast, 2 egg whites and some fruit jam. The egg white contains a small amount of radioactive tracer which we can image with our camera.

If you are unable to eat solids, a liquid nutritional supplement meal can sometimes be used.

After you have eaten the meal we will start the images immediately, to image your full stomach before it empties, and continue imaging for 2 hours. Further images at 3 hours and 4 hours will usually be required as well. Please allow a total of 5 hours for the whole test.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects from the tracer, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation used is quite small. If you are allergic to eggs, wheat or gluten, or any specific fruits, please call us immediately.

How long will the test take?

Please allow about 5 hours for the whole test.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Your doctors may have requested that you undergo this examination while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctors will have considered and discussed the risks and benefits of having the scan to the health of both you and your baby.

As part of the procedure you will be given the opportunity to further discuss any concerns that you may have including the potential risks and benefits with one of our staff members.

This examination may have been deemed suitable for you to undergo while you are breastfeeding. You will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours following the administration of the radiotracer. It is advised that you express and discard your breast milk during this period. You may resume routine breast feeding after 12 hours. Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.

If you are / could be pregnant OR are breast-feeding please call us to discuss your options

It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you

Please feel free to call us on 6244 2439 if you have any questions or to reschedule


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