What is it?

A Gastric Emptying Scan is a test to examine if there is a problem with the movement of food through the stomach and examines how long it takes for a meal to move through the stomach. It provides functional information that other tests may be unable to provide.


What do I need to do before the procedure?

Make sure you remember to bring any previous films or reports to the appointment. Wear warm comfortable clothing. You will also need to:

  • Fast for six hours - fast for 6 hours prior to the test. You may drink plain water only during the fasting period
  • Non-diabetic medication - take them with plain water when you would normally take them. If you take stomach medications, ask your GP if you should take them the day before and the day of your scan
  • Diabetic medication - if you take oral diabetic medication, fast overnight and do not have breakfast. Do not take your oral diabetic medication but bring it with you. If you take insulin, have your normal breakfast with the insulin and bring your insulin to the appointment.
  • Advise of pregnancy or breastfeeding - let the service know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding


What will happen?

You will be asked to eat a scrambled egg sandwich. A very small amount of a radioactive tracer has been mixed into the scrambled eggs. This is not harmful to you and will not make the eggs taste different.

After you have eaten the scrambled egg sandwich, you will be asked to lie down on a scanning table for 2 hours, and pictures of your stomach will be taken using a special camera. During the scan, you must lie very still and breathe normally.


What can I expect after?

There are no after-effects from having a gastric emptying scan. Once it is finished, you can go home. You are able to drive immediately after the test. Your results will be sent to your GP or specialist.