Gastric emptying scan

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Learn how a gastric emptying scan is done and how it shows how quickly food leaves the stomach.

Key points

  • A gastric emptying scan shows how quickly food moves from the stomach to the small intestine. It takes about 2.5 hours.
  • The test involves adding a tiny amount of radioactive material to some food or liquid before giving it to your child. A special camera then takes pictures at set times to check how fast the food or liquid is moving through your child's stomach.
  • Your child must not eat or drink anything for three to four hours before a scan using liquid or for four to six hours before a scan using solid food.
  • A nuclear medicine doctor will send the results of the scan to your family doctor or paediatrician (child's doctor) within two working days. The person who does the scan cannot give the results.
Last updated: December 6th 2013