Melissa's 4hr Gastric Emptying Study vs 2hr

Copy of original post by Melissa of GP Fight - telling her experience of the 4hr GES Gastric Emptying Study vs 2hr.



2/4/20223 min read

In this blog, I will outline the 4-hour Digest Study that I experienced vs the 2-hour test I had been through over a year prior. "Digestive Study" is what my GI Dr called it. The proper name is a Gastric Emptying Study (GES).

After already having a 2-hour GES about 14 months ago, I thought I was well prepared going into today as far as knowing what to expect. Man, was I wrong! The 4-hour version was nothing close to the 2 hr GES. Below I will outline the differences I underwent.

2-hour GES
  • Within 20 minutes eat an Egg Salad Sandwich, and drink the water.

  • Lay down for 2 full hours as the machine above you takes pics every couple of minutes.

  • Optional second test with Reglan (click HERE to read my experience).

  • The test is done at this point, and all that is left is to wait for the doctor to call with the results.

4-hour GES
  • Within 10 minutes eat 1 cup of Egg Beaters, 2 pieces of toast with strawberry jelly, and drink the water.

  • They told me the sugar in the jelly was a key component of digestion; which was not given in the 2-hour test.

  • The bell rang for 10 minutes and I was escorted to the other room where I had to stand still in front of a machine for 2 full minutes. Being dizzy does not help achieve this goal very easily.

  • At the end of the 2 minutes, I was taken to the main waiting room. They would call me back in 30 min to do another session of the 2-minute photo shoot. We continued this process for 2 hours which is equivalent to 4 picture sessions.

  • After the tech looked over the result of the last test they told me to come back in 2 hours and have one last image taken. The reason for the ask is to calculate how slow the emptying time is. During the 2 hours, I could go wherever I wanted but was encouraged to go for a walk. Doing so would speed up the stomach, or so they say.

  • When I got back he had to note if I got sick in any manner, which I did not (pat on the back)! It was a nice day, so I hung out by my car and played on my phone. The time was too short to drive home and I was too dizzy to walk around a store.

  • The last of the pictures were taken and I was on my merry way to wait 1 week for the results from the GI Dr's office.

My Thoughts

The 4-hour GES is long, but you don't have to lay down for 2 full hours. The room where I had the GES done does not have a clock or TV. I hear from other people that some got to watch a movie! All I got to watch was the blurry computer monitor screen with my digestive tract. The waiting room was much better.

The only bad part of the 4-hour test was the meal I was forced to eat, and so quickly. Now, I have a GP Baby (excess gas and bloating) and it is killing me! The pain from the bloating is crazy. Below is a pic of my normal tummy day and a pic from a few hours after the 4-hour test was over.

Click HERE to read the full 2-hour GES test as well as my test results.