Radiology

Milk Scan: Gastro-Esophageal Reflux

Milk Scan
Milk Scan
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What is a Milk Scan?

What should you do prior to the exam?

What should you do when you arrive?

What should you expect during the exam?

What should you do after the exam?

Test results

What is a Milk Scan?

A Milk Scan is a test that can determine if your child has gastro-esophageal reflux. It can also measure the rate at which the stomach empties.

This exam requires the use of a radiopharmaceutical mixed with milk, breast milk, or formula that your child will drink.

What should you do prior to the exam?

Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink for four hours prior to the test.

Your child should not receive barium (radiographic contrast agent) 24 hours prior to the test.

You will need to bring 8 ounces of milk, breast milk, or formula with you.

Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are easily removed. Your child may be given a gown to change into for the procedure.

We have a large variety of video entertainment to choose from, however, your child can also bring along his/her favorite video or DVD to watch during the exam.

You may want to bring a snack or drink for your child to have after the exam.

Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany the child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.

What should you do when you arrive?

If your appointment is scheduled at the Main Hospital:

You must check in to Outpatient Registration, on the third floor of the Main Hospital, 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, the Nuclear Medicine Department will be notified. A technologist will come out to the central registration area and bring you and your child to the Nuclear Medicine exam room.

If your appointment is scheduled at the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia:

You must check in at the main registration desk, located in the main waiting room, 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, you will be directed to the Radiology waiting room. The Nuclear Medicine technologist will come out to the Radiology waiting room and bring you and your child to the Nuclear Medicine exam room.

What should you expect during the exam?

The technologist will ask why the Milk Scan is being done, and explain the study to you and your child. We will then place a small amount of radioactive material into the milk/breast milk/formula that you bring from home. There are no side effects and the medicine will not change the taste of the milk/breast milk/formula. Your child will then drink their milk/breast milk/formula. Your child will need to drink two to eight ounces, depending on their ability, in ten minutes. We will work with you if your child has special needs.

The scan will begin while your child is swallowing and will continue for approximately one hour. Your child will lay on their back, on our table, with the camera underneath them.

If your child has a history of problems with swallowing, a special tube called an NG tube (nasogastric) will be inserted prior to the study by a Radiology Nurse. The tube is inserted through the nose and ends in the stomach. The liquid will be injected through the tube for the exam.

We do not sedate for this procedure.

Child Life Specialists are available to answer questions you might have about how to prepare and support your child during the procedure. A child life specialist can also be present at the time of your child's appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways using well established preparation materials. The specialist can also be available to help implement distraction techniques to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience. Please call 215-590-2001 or click the link above for more information. If your child's procedure is scheduled for the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia, you can call the Child Life Specialist directly at 215-590-3069.

What should you do after the exam?

There are no special instructions for your child to follow upon completion of this procedure.

Test results

The images from your child's exam are interpreted on the same day and a report is sent to your physician's office.

If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 215-590-2584.

Here is an example of what your child's exam may look like.

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