Before the Test
Before coming to the hospital, read this explanation and explain to your child what will happen during the test. For young children, use simple words and explain only shortly before the test.
For this test, your child must have an empty stomach. He or she cannot eat or drink for four hours before the study. If your child is an infant, it is helpful to bring along a bottle of formula or juice with you for after the test. It is also recommended that you bring a pacifier, blanket or special toy to help calm your baby.
For older children, it is helpful to bring a book or toy to play with while waiting, and a movie or music for during the test. It is helpful to have another caregiver to watch your child's siblings so you can be with your child.
During the Test
Your child will eat and / or drink a special meal. Your child must eat and / or drink the meal in about 15 minutes. Then your child will lie on a soft table on his / her back while pictures are taken with a special camera. Depending on what your child ate will determine how pictures are taken. Most of the time, one-minute pictures are taken and your child will have breaks in between pictures. During this time, your child may not eat or drink anything else until the test is finished. Gastric emptying tests can last as long as four hours.
If your child’s doctor wants to test him or her for reflux, a longer one-hour picture is taken at the beginning of the test. During this one-hour picture, your child can watch a movie or play with a computer tablet. Small amounts of wiggling are OK.
After the Test
The child's digestive system will eliminate the special medicine from the body. As always, you and your child should wash your hands when the child has a bowel movement or vomits.
After the test, your child may return to regular daily activities and meals. Results of the test will be sent to your child's doctor, who will contact you about the results. You can also get results of the test if your child has an account in MyChart.