A gastric emptying study is a medical test used to evaluate how quickly food empties from the stomach and enters the small intestine. This test is typically done to diagnose conditions that affect the stomach’s ability to empty properly, such as gastroparesis.
During the test, the patient will consume a small meal containing a small amount of radioactive material. The radioactive material allows healthcare providers to track the movement of the food through the digestive system using a special camera. The patient will then be asked to lie down on a table and the camera will take pictures of the stomach at regular intervals to monitor the movement of the food.
The test usually takes several hours to complete, and the patient will need to remain still during the test to ensure accurate results. After the test is complete, the healthcare provider will review the images and evaluate how quickly the stomach emptied. They will then use this information to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan if necessary