Colon Transit Scan Information Sheet

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What is a Colon Transit Scan?

A Colon Transit Scan is used to image how fast food moves from the small bowel, through the large intestine, to the rectum. This test is most often performed to assess the severity of constipation, and identify any specific regions of hold-up. Because it normally takes several days for food to move through the body, the test usually goes for 5 days.

What preparation is required?

We need to assess the normal function of your intestines, so it is necessary to avoid taking any laxatives for at least 2 days before the test, and for the 5 days of the test. There is no other preparation – you can eat as normal throughout the test.

What happens during the test?

On Monday morning you will be asked to drink a glass of water containing a small amount of a radioactive tracer called Gallium. You are then free to leave the hospital, and return 6hrs later (the tracer should be at the start of the large intestine by this time). You will need to return each morning through the week (Tuesday through to Friday) at 8.00 for imaging, or until there is no tracer left in your body.

Are there any side effects?

There are few reported side effects from the tracer, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation (in the radiotracer) used is very small.

How long will the test take?

Please allow 15min for the first part of the test, and around 30min for each imaging session after that.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

It is not recommended that you undergo a colon transit scan whilst you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is advisable for women that are considering this test while breast feeding wait until they have ceased breast feeding before proceeding with this test.

Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.

If you are / could be pregnant OR are breast-feeding please call us to discuss your options

It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you

Please feel free to call us on 6244 2439 if you have any questions or to reschedule


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