Bowel Transit Scan
A Bowel Transit Scan looks at how fast food passes through the large bowel.
Your child will be required to fast (no food or drink) from midnight on the first day of their test. This includes all solids and liquids. The technologist performing the scan will let you know when your child can eat and drink again.
Your child’s doctor will determine if their medication should be stopped before the test. If requested by the doctor, please stop medication two days before the test. Any stool softeners or laxatives should be stopped for one day before the test. Tests where your child had to drink barium should not be performed within three days of this test.
A Bowel Transit Scan has multiple parts and takes 3 days to complete. You and your child are allowed to leave the department between each part of the test.
- Each session is of different lengths of time.
- Your child must return at the given time for the test.
- A parent or guardian must always stay with the child.
- Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.
- Eating and drinking is not allowed in the room.
What to expect
This test has multiple parts and takes three days to complete. The time to complete each part varies in duration. Please note any bowel movement that your child has including the date, time and the amount through the duration of this test.
Day 1 consists of four parts and takes most of the day to complete. There will be breaks between each part where you can leave the department and asked to return at a specific time.
A sticker will be placed on your child’s hips. Please keep the stickers on for all three days. Your child can shower or bathe with the stickers on.
During the first session on Day 1:
- Your child will be asked to drink 2% milk (or similar if lactose intolerant) within 10 minutes.
- Radioactive medicine will be added to the milk. The medicine will not change the taste or colour of the milk.
- A special camera will take pictures as soon as your child begins to drink.
- Your child will lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will go across their body for safety and to help them remain still while pictures are taken.
- This session will take 90 minutes to complete.
For the next few sessions:
- Your child will be asked to continue to fast until instructed by the technologist that they can eat. .
- The other parts of the test on Day 1 consist of more pictures and are shorter in duration.
- These will take approximately 15 minutes: with one picture at mid morning, another early afternoon and the last later that afternoon.
- These pictures will allow us to see where, in your child’s digestive system, the milk has travelled.
- Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to stay distracted (watch a movie etc.).
Day 2 consists of two parts where we will take pictures using our special camera. Each set of pictures will take approximately 20 minutes.
- Your child will lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will go across their body.
- Pictures will allow us to see where the milk has travelled in the bowels.
- Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted watch a movie etc...).
- Your child is allowed to eat and drink as usual.
Day 3 only involves imaging which takes place in the morning. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
- Your child will lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will go across their across their body for safety and to help them remain still while pictures are taken.
- These pictures will observe where the milk has travelled in the large bowels.
- Your child should not feel uncomfortable during the scan and can choose to be distracted (watch a movie etc.).
- Your child is allowed to eat and drink as usual on Day 3.
Your child can resume his/her medications, stool softeners and/or laxatives after the test is complete on Day 3.
The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test. A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 10 business days.
Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.