Gastric Emptying Test
Your doctor has arranged for you to have a test on your stomach. Please take a look at the information below about the test you are going to have which will hopefully answer any questions that you might have.
- Do I need to do anything before my appointment?
- Do I need to bring anyone with me?
- What will happen when I arrive for my appointment?
- What will I need to do for the tests?
- Why are these tests needed?
Do I need to do anything before my appointment?
If instructed (see appointment letter), you may be required to stop all stomach medication such as proton pump inhibitors (Losec, Nexium etc) and antacids for 24-hours before the test. You should stop all pro-motility agents such a domperidone, erythromycin etc 72-hours before the test. You may take all other essential medicines, if in doubt please ask us.
You should not have anything to eat for 6-hours before the study (from midnight if you appointment is before 12pm). You can drink up to 250mls of water (half a pint) on the morning of your study. Otherwise, you do not need to do anything before your arrival at the Unit.
Do I need to bring anyone with me?
No. There is no reason why the tests should have any adverse effects. However, you are welcome to bring along somebody for support if you so require.
What will happen when I arrive for my appointment?
You will be asked some questions relating to how your stomach works and the problems you have been having. We will then explain the procedure to you and you will be asked to sign a consent form, giving us permission to do the tests.
Although there are no risks involved in performing the tests, some patients may find they have some mild stomach discomfort which often mimics your usual symptoms after eating.
What will I need to do for the tests?
In order for us to carry out the tests you will need to provide breath samples (by blowing into a foil bag. You will then eat a small meal of either porridge or an egg sandwich. If you have any food allergies or special requirements (Kosher, for example) please let us know and we can accommodate this.
The meal contains an inert (safe) chemical which is digested with the food and excreted by the lungs when you breathe out. By measuring how much of the chemical is in your breath over time we can estimate how well your stomach is emptying. The test takes 4.5-hours so bring something to read or a mobile device / laptop as the unit offers free WIFI.
Why are these tests needed?
This test is an important part of the investigation and the future management of your stomach condition. The result assists your doctor in planning appropriate treatment for you so it is important for you to keep your appointment.
If you have any queries about the tests please contact Dr Anthony Hobson on 07850 114 966.