Gastric Emptying

Your doctor has recommended that you have a gastric emptying study, which measures the speed with which food leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine. Gastric emptying studies are done to diagnose symptoms that may be related to slow or rapid emptying of the stomach. Our team of specialized doctors, nurses and technologists that performs gastric emptying studies is led by Alessandro D'Agnolo, MD, co-chair of Nuclear Medicine.

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • You can print and fill out the Gastric Emptying Questionnaire on the Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
  • Narcotic pain relievers, anticholinergic medications, metoclopramide (Reglan) and erythromycin should not be taken for 48 to 72 hours before your study. Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your primary care physician.
  • Please do not eat or drink for 12 hours before your exam.
  • For diabetics, blood glucose levels should be maintained near normal levels for this study.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

After Arriving

  • Upon arrival, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
  • Please inform the doctor, technologist or nurse if you are or suspect you may be pregnant.

During Your Exam

  • For a gastric emptying study, you will be asked to eat a meal with a solid and a liquid component mixed with a tiny amount of radioactive material.
  • The meal is an egg sandwich and 4 ounces of water. The egg sandwich consists of two slices of white or wheat bread, 4 ounces of egg white and 24 grams of jelly. The meal is not gluten free.
  • A scanner is placed over your abdomen to monitor your stomach for several hours after the meal is eaten.

After Your Exam

  • There are no post-exam instructions.
  • Your study will be reviewed by an imaging physician specialist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
For more information or to schedule an appointment