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Department of Internal Medicine

Department of Internal Medicine

Diagnostic services

Patient instructions for gastric emptying study

Gastric emptying study is performed by the nuclear medicine department at UC Davis Medical Center. For the study, the patient eats a meal in which a solid component of the meal, a liquid component of the meal, or both, are mixed with a small amount of radioactive material. A scanner is placed over the patient’s stomach to monitor the amount of radioactivity in the stomach for several hours after the test meal is eaten. The rate at which the radioactivity leaves the stomach reflects the rate at which food is emptying from the stomach

Before the examination, you should tell your physician if you are pregnant or nursing. You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to the study. Check with your physician to see which medications should be withheld and for how long before this study, as many medications may affect gastric emptying.

More information about this procedure is available here.