Medical Imaging

Nuclear Medicine > Exams & Procedures > Gastric Emptying (Solid/Liquid)

This test determines the time it takes your stomach to empty and sees if food is refluxing back into the throat.

This test may have been ordered by your doctor to investigate several different possible disease processes:

  • heartburn or acid reflux.
  • vomiting.
  • pain during or after eating.
  • nausea.
  • delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis).

Preparation

You should have nothing to eat or drink six hours prior to the test.

Bring a list of all medications and supplements you take. This includes vitamins, herbal remedies, and holistic medications.

Do not bring children or pregnant women with you to the department. We do not want to expose them to unnecessary radiation.

Any of these procedures is subject to change according to the nuclear medicine physician. The duration of the tests is a rough estimate. Please be aware that the time may be lengthened if a scan has to be repeated, if emergency cases are brought to the department or due to unforeseen circumstances.

About the Procedure

Solid Meal - one hour and 45 minutes.
Liquid Meal - one hour and 15 minutes.

  • A technologist will briefly explain the test to you and try to answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
  • A technologist will ask you a few questions about your medical history and medications.
Solid Meal
  • You will be given a small meal (half of an egg salad sandwich and two glasses of water) that contains a small amount of a radioactive tracer.
  • You will be asked to lie down on a bed.
  • A camera will be positioned above your stomach and abdomen.
  • Pictures are taken continuously for an hour and a half.
Liquid Meal
  • You will be given a glass of orange juice that contains a small amount of a radioactive tracer.
  • You will be asked to lie down on a bed.
  • A camera will be positioned above your stomach and abdomen.
  • Pictures are taken continuously for one hour.