What is a nuclear medicine gastric emptying scan?

A gastric emptying test (also called a GET) is used to assess your stomach’s motility, or its ability to empty itself. Slow gastric emptying (gastroparesis) can cause symptoms such as pain, distention, gastroesophageal reflux, nausea, vomiting and anorexia.

A GET is a painless test wherein the patient ingests a tiny amount of radioactive material and it travels into the stomach. Once absorbed, the material emits gamma radiation, which is detected by a scanner. The scanner’s camera captures front and back images of your stomach immediately after eating and every 15 minutes until 50% or more is emptied from the stomach. Your RAO radiologist and regular doctor will review these images to determine if there is evidence of delayed motility; if so, your doctor may prescribe treatment.

The material used in a GET loses its radioactivity within hours, and passes from the body within 24 hours. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with concerns about exposure to radiation should consult with their RAO radiologist or their regular MD.

Where are nuclear medicine gastric emptying scans offered?

Radiology Associates of Ocala offers nuclear gastric emptying scans at the Medical Imaging Center at Windsor Oaks.

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