This is an x-ray test that shows how long it takes for food to pass through your stomach and bowel. The purpose of this test is to try and find out what may be causing your symptoms.
You should cease laxatives 3 days prior to and during the duration of the study. Otherwise, you may take all of your usual medications.
You should fast from midnight the night before the commencement of the test. Please inform the technologist when booking the appointment if you have any food allergies or intolerances.
The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so please inform us before the test begins if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant.
Images will be taken over 2-3 hours. You will then be required to return to the department in the afternoon for images of the bowel. This takes approximately 20 minutes. You must then return each day in the morning for the rest of the week.
After the test is explained to you, a technologist will take you to the scanning area. You will be given a sandwich to eat and the radiolabelled water to drink, and then a set of pictures will be taken.
Pictures will continue to be taken for the next two to three hours. You will then be required to return to the department in the afternoon for images of the bowel. This takes approximately 20 minutes. You must then return each day in the morning for the rest of the week. You will also be asked to keep a diary of all you eat and your bowel movements for the week. You must bring this with you when you return on Friday.
You are free to leave the hospital between the first and second parts of the scan. You may eat and drink as you wish.
There are no side effects or reactions from the radiolabelled compound you have ingested. The procedure itself is entirely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.
In general, the scans and results are sent to your doctor the next working day.
You can drive home after the scan. You will not be drowsy in any way.
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