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 physician recommend Gastric Emptying?

    Your physician may recommend Gastric Emptying if you have symptoms of abnormally slow or rapid emptying of the stomach. Symptoms of slow emptying of the stomach include nausea, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain or fullness after eating. Symptoms of rapid emptying of the stomach may include weakness, light-headedness and/or diarrhea after eating.

  • What should I expect during Gastric Emptying?

    You will be given complete instructions before the test. On the day of your procedure, you will be given a solid food, typically eggs, that have been injected with a small dose of radioactive material. You will also be given water to drink. You will be asked to eat the food and drink the water within a specified amount of time. After eating, you will be asked to lie on your back as a special camera captures pictures of your stomach at several timed intervals over a four-hour period. You may leave the room between scans and will be instructed when to return for the next scan.

  • What should I expect following Gastric Emptying?

    When the imaging is complete, you can resume your normal activity level. Any remaining radiotracers should be eliminated from your body after one to two days. Continue drinking plenty of fluids to help flush them from your body.

  • How can I schedule Gastric Emptying with Fairfax Radiology?

    Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

    Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

    Fax: 703.698.0864

    Or click here to make an appointment request

    Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

  • When are appointments offered for Gastric Emptying with Fairfax Radiology?

    For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons and weekends at the locations listed below. Click on the link for hours and information about each location.