Paediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux Information Sheet

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What is a Milk Scan?

This test is to show if your child has any reflux of liquids from the stomach back up the oesophagus. It also shows if any fluids reflux enough to reach the lungs, which is called aspiration.

What preparation is required?

Your child needs to skip one meal prior to the test, so their stomach is empty before the test. They should be fasting for 3hrs prior. Please bring a bottle of milk (or formula) with you, as well as a spare, empty bottle. If your child is on any anti-reflux medications, they should skip those on the morning of the test, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

What happens during the test?

PART 1: We will label a small amount of a radioactive tracer to some of the milk you bring with you, and ask you to give your child the drink, followed by some normal milk. We then take pictures for at least 30min, and often up to an hour afterwards.

WAIT: You will then be able to leave the department, and we will need you to return about 4 hours later for some more images.

PART 2: We will take some more pictures for about 10-20min

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects from the tracer, and no restrictions following the test. The tracer does not change the flavour of the milk, and is a very small volume. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities afterwards. The amount of radiation used is quite small, and scaled down according to height and weight.

How long will the test take?

Please allow 60-90min for the first part of the test, and around 20min for the second part. You are not required to stay in the hospital between the two parts.


It is important to bring any of your child’s 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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