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What is Gastric Emptying Study? Example

What is Gastric Emptying Study? Example

Gastric Emptying Study | What is Gastric Emptying Scan

The most common type of Gastric Emptying Study is a procedure that is done by nuclear medicine physicians using radioactive chemicals that measures the speed with which food empties from the stomach and enters the small intestine.

Gastric emptying studies are used for evaluating patients who are having symptoms that may be due to slow and, less commonly, rapid emptying of the stomach. The symptoms of slow emptying are primarily nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and abdominal fullness after eating. The symptoms of rapid emptying are diarrhea, weakness, or light-headedness after eating.

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Purpose of a Gastric Emptying Study

Gastric Emptying Study are often known as Gastric Emptying Scan and used to diagnose gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach’s muscles don’t work properly. This delays food from being sent to the small intestine.

Your doctor may order the scans if you frequently vomit, feel bloated after eating, or complain of abdominal pain. Other common symptoms of gastroparesis include:

weight loss
changes in blood sugar levels
serious dehydration
esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus
malnutrition from not absorbing nutrients
Many of these symptoms can interfere with your quality of life. A gastric emptying scan can help your doctor diagnose gastroparesis or other motility disorder causing these symptoms.

Preparing Your Child For A Gastric Emptying Study

  • Your child cannot eat or drink anything four hours prior to the examination.
  • It is important not to have had a barium study within 48 hours prior.
  • Ift your tyke is bolstered through a gastric tube, if you don’t mind bring g-tube and the equation you use with you.
  • If child is bottle fed, please bring your infant’s formula with you.
  • If your child is scheduled for a motility study, please bring bread and jam with you.
  • On the off chance that youngster has a sensitivity to either eggs or milk, if you don’t mind call your tyke’s specialist.
  • It is helpful to give your child a simple explanation as to why a gastric emptying study is needed and assure him that you will be with him or her for the entire time.
  • You may want to bring your child’s favorite book, toy or comforting object to use during waiting times.
  • We have various DVDs to choose from for your child to watch during the procedure or you can bring one from home.

How Long Does The Test Take?

This test takes four and half hours to complete in one visit. When you arrive to the Nuclear Medicine Department a technologist will take you to a room and give you a meal to eat. The normal meal is 4 oz. of egg beaters scrambled; 2 pieces of toast with jam; and 6 oz. of water. In the scrambled eggs will be a radioactive isotope. This isotope will not make the eggs taste or look any different; it just allows us to see your stomach under our imaging camera.

After you consume this meal a one minute image of your stomach will be taken. You will be allowed to leave the department with a time to return in 1, 2, and 4 hours later. Each time you return the technologist will take a one minute image of your stomach. This is a timed test so it is very important to be back at the times the technologist gives you. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything until the last images is taken.

How Long Does The Test Take?
How Long Does The Test Take?

Gastric Emptying Study Results

A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via the internal computer system.

The nuclear medicine physician will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child’s emptying study. Your child’s doctor discuss the results with you.

Gastric Emptying Study Side Effects

There are no side effects from a emptying study. The radioactive material is not absorbed into the body and is eliminated in the stool. Gastric emptying studies as well as any other studies that utilize radioactive materials were not performed in pregnant women because of fetus is exposed to some radioactivity.

CPT Code For Gastric Emptying Study

The only change in nuclear medicine procedure coding is the revision of the gastric emptying study code 78264 and the addition of two CPT Code for gastric emptying studies.  Code 78264 is for a regular gastric emptying study. Code 78265 includes small bowel transit, and code 78266 includes small bowel and colon transit over multiple days.

The long descriptors for these codes are as follows:

a) 78264: Gastric Emptying Imaging Study (eg. solid, liquid, or both)

b) 78265: Gastric Emptying Imaging Study (eg. solid, liquid, or both); with small bowel transit

c) 78266: Gastric Emptying Imaging Study (eg. solid, liquid, or both); with small bowel and colon transit, multiple days

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