Fairfax Radiological Consultants

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Gastric Emptying

What is Gastric Emptying?

For many people who complain of abdominal bloating or fullness after eating just a small amount of food or the same symptoms that last for a long period after a meal, the issue may be more than just a slow metabolism. Gastric Emptying is a Nuclear Medicine scan that diagnoses the cause of these symptoms by using a radioactive tracer to measure the speed with which food leaves the stomach. 

Common Questions

  • Why would my doctor recommend a Gastric Emptying Study?

    Your doctor may order a Gastric Emptying Study if you have experienced unexplained abdominal pain, frequent vomiting, early satiety (feeling full with a very small amount of food) or gastroparesis (a digestive disorder defined by abnormal movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine.) Sometimes, a Gastric Emptying Study is ordered by your doctor for pre-operative evaluation.

  • What can I expect during a Gastric Emptying Study?

    You will be asked to eat a hard-boiled egg containing a small amount of radioactivity with two pieces of buttered toast and 6 ounces of unsweetened fruit juice. Then, you will be imaged for about 90 minutes. Ask your physician: if he or she indicates a need, additional imaging will be done at 2 hours, 3 hours, and 4 hours after ingestion of the meal.

  • How do I prepare for the study?

    Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions to prepare for the study. In general, you should discontinue all pain medications six hours prior to the exam, and have nothing to eat or drink for six hours prior to the exam. You doctor may also ask you to discontinue stomach motility medications for six hours prior to the study.

  • How do I schedule a Gastric Emptying Study with Fairfax Radiology?

    Please have your written physician order and insurance information in hand when scheduling your appointment.  Note: It is very important for you to tell your scheduler if you have an egg allergy.  Confirm with scheduler whether or not you need to bring two slices of buttered toast. 

    Online: Click Here to request an appointment.
    Scheduling Department Phone: 703.698.4488
    Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • When are appointments offered for a Gastric Emptying Study?

    For your convenience, appointments are available at multiple locations.  Learn more about each location below.

Available at the following location

Fairfax Radiology Center at Prosperity
Fairfax Radiology Center at Prosperity

8503 Arlington Boulevard 
Suite LL-100 (US, X-ray, Nuc Med) 
Suite LL-110 (CT) 
Fairfax, VA 22031