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Barium Swallow

Barium Swallow, Upper GI (Stomach X-rays), Small Bowel Series

What can I expect?
A Barium Swallow (Esophagus) demonstrates the structure and function of the esophagus. This study will take approximately 20 minutes. An Upper GI series demonstrates the structure and function of the stomach. This study will take approximately 30 minutes. A Small Bowel series demonstrates the structure and function of the small bowel. This study normally lasts for approximately one and one-half hours but can take longer depending on your digestive system. In some cases you will need to have a series of images taken every 30 minutes for up to four (4) hours. You will drink a chalky liquid called barium to outline your esophagus, stomach and small bowel on the x-ray. The radiologist and technologist will watch the progress of the barium on an x-ray imaging screen while turning you in different positions. Several x-rays will be taken during this time.

What do I do if there is a possibility that I might be pregnant?
If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, please tell the technologist before the exam.

Are any activities restricted after this procedure?
No, you may continue your normal activities unless otherwise instructed.

Do I need to make changes to my diet?
Following the exam, you may return to your normal diet. Drink plenty of fluids for the remainder of the day. Your bowel movements may have a chalky appearance for a couple of days following your study.

Do I need to adjust any medications?
Your medicines should not be stopped unless your doctor tells you to.

My doctor requested that I bring my films to my next appointment, what do I do?
Saint Joseph has implemented a new imaging archiving system which allows physicians to digitally view your images in their offices. The technologist that performs your procedure will also be able to provide you with a CD (computerized disk) to take with you upon request. If you did not receive a CD from the technologist and you need a copy of your images, you can also contact the Radiology Imaging Library at 859.313.2290 . If someone else is going to pick up your CD, you must call us and give us their information and they must present a picture ID.

Saint Joseph Outpatient Diagnostic Center
Saint Joseph Office Park - Bldg. C
1401 Harrodsburg Road, Ground Floor
Lexington, KY 40504