Childr Health Information

Gastric Emptying Scan

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Topic: Tests & Procedures


This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about the gastric emptying scan. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand. This information does not replace information given to you by your physician or other members of your child’s health care team.

It is very important for both you and your child to be prepared for the procedure.  Being prepared will help you get your child ready for the test and support him or her through it.

What is a gastric emptying scan?
A gastric emptying scan is an x-ray that measures the time it takes for food (liquid or solid) to empty from the stomach into the small intestine.

What happens during a gastric emptying scan?
The staff will ask you some questions about your child’s health history before the gastric emptying scan is done.  This information will help the x-ray doctor (radiologist) when he or she looks at your child’s pictures.

Your child will be given a small liquid (milk or formula) or solid (scrambled eggs or oatmeal) to eat.  A small amount of a radioactive medicine is mixed into the meal. The medicine does not have a taste. The camera sees the medicine travel through the stomach and small intestine.  Pictures are taken for one hour.

What will my child feel during a gastric emptying scan?
The radioactive medicine is tasteless. The small meal will taste normal to your child. After the small meal is eaten, your child will be asked to lie on his or her back on a padded table.  The camera will be behind your child’s back. It does not touch your child or make any noises.  He or she will not feel the camera taking pictures.  It is very important for your child to lie as still as possible during the test.  We may use blanket wraps and safety belts to help your child be still.  We have toys and videos to distract your child or you may bring a favorite toy or video from home. 

How can I help prepare my child for a gastric emptying scan?
You will receive instructions about what your child eats before the test.

When and how to explain the gastric emptying scan to your child depends on his or her age.  No explanation is necessary for infants, as long as you understand the test.  Toddlers need a very simple explanation just before the test begins.  Older children need more detailed information ahead of time. Adolescents (12 years and older) should be prepared far enough ahead of time to give them time to ask questions.

When you get to the hospital, a staff member will discuss the scan in an age-appropriate way with your child.  He or she will talk about any concerns that you or your child may have. At Dayton Children’s, we take these extra steps to make sure we lower your child’s anxiety and make this experience as comfortable as possible.

How can I help my child during gastric emptying scan?
When you get to the hospital, a staff member will discuss the scan in an age-appropriate way with your child.  He or she will talk about any concerns that you or your child may have. At Dayton Children’s, we take these extra steps to make sure we lower your child’s anxiety and make this experience as comfortable as possible.  Some children need to cry.  Crying is healthy because it allows children to express their emotions. 

What happens after the gastric emptying scan?
Your child may resume normal activities after the scan.  A report will be sent to your referring doctor, usually within a week.

For further questions about this test, please call Dayton Children’s medical imaging department: 937-641-3888 or 1-800-228-4055.

PDF: Child Health Information - GASTRIC EMPTYING SCAN

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.

 

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