Gastric emptying study (1649)

Key points below

Your child’s scan is scheduled for (date) ___________ on (time) _______________ in the Imaging (Radiology) Department at Children’s Wisconsin.  

Please stop at a Welcome desk to get a badge and directions to Imaging.

What is a gastric emptying study?

The part of the body that carries food from the mouth to the stomach is called the food tube, or esophagus.  When food in the stomach goes back up into the food tube, it is called reflux.  A gastric emptying scan helps the doctor look for gastroesophageal reflux.

This test may also be used to see:

Special instructionsenema

Your child can not have anything to eat or drink before the scan.  Please use the guide below based on your child's age: 

0 – 5 months old:  No food, formula or breast milk 4 hours before the scan.  
Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the scan.

6 months – and older:  No food, formula or breast milk 6 hours before the scan.  
Nothing to eat or drink 6 hours before the scan.

Please bring a prepared normal feeding to the scan.  The food will be used in the scan.  

Follow the guidelines below for your child's age:

Infants under 1 year old:  A prepared bottle (formula, breast milk).

Children 1 year old and older:  12 ounce bottle of milk or juice.

If a solid or dual phase has been ordered, food and juice will be provided.

How the scan is done

Persons trained in doing the scan will help your child with the procedure and answer any questions you may have.  

Your child may be uncomfortable if a feeding tube is used.  Feel free to bring comfort items to use during the test such as stuffed toys, blankets, books and DVD.  

After the scan


A doctor who has special training in reading x-rays, called a radiologist, will look at the pictures after the scan is done.  Your child's doctor will get the results of the scan within 24 hours.  This doctor will share the results with you.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.