2) "MILK" SCANS/ STUDY TO DETECT GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX
A milk scan involves checking if a patient has gastroesophageal reflux, and is also very helpful when it comes to measuring how quickly the stomach is able to empty.
A milk scan test is performed in order to determine whether or not your child is suffering from reflux. If your child does have reflux, the scan is helpful in determining how much reflux your child has, to evaluate swallow, gastric emptying as well as the possibility of lung aspiration.
Your baby/child should be fasting for about 3 - 4h prior to the scan. To conduct the milk scan procedure, a small amount of radioactive tracer is mixed with breast milk or formula and given to the child to drink. As soon as the patient starts to drink the milk with radioactive tracer the scan is started. The baby can have a full feed after the initial small amount of milk to evaluate swallow. The scan will take about 45 minutes for the first part. The radioactive tracer will be picked up on the gamma camera, allowing your doctor to see the relevant parts of your child's body. Delayed images after 2 hours are performed to check for lung aspiration and stomach emptying. Although the milk scan test is a non-invasive procedure, it can be stressful for a child or baby, so we take special care to create a safe, calm environment for our patients.