This x-ray exam is performed to evaluate the esophagus. This is the tube, which carries food and liquids from your mouth to your stomach. The exam is performed to detect disorders of the esophagus such as inflammation, ulcers, obstructions and certain cancers.
If you are only having a barium swallow (not barium swallow with UGI) then you have no preparation for the exam. If your orders include an Upper GI (UGI) then follow the preparation for that exam.
This procedure takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
When you come for the appointment, please sign in at the front desk in our main lobby. Your personal information and insurance information will be taken by one of the admissions personnel. Then you will be called back to the radiology department and asked to change into a hospital gown. You will be asked to stand on the end of the special x-ray table and the Radiology doctor will have you swallow a liquid barium mixture. He will watch you swallowing on a special TV camera, which is attached to the x-ray unit, and he may ask you to swallow this mixture more than once. He will make pictures during this exam. After the final pictures are taken you will be free to leave and resume your normal activities.
The barium used for this exam may cause your stools to be chalky or light colored and it can cause constipation so it is advisable to drink as much fluid as possible for the next few (3) days.
The Radiologist will study the images he took during the exam and send a report to your physician. Your physician should have the results of your exam within 2-3 business days.