What To Expect for Esophagus, Stomach and Duodenum
On its own, the soft tissue of these organs cannot be seen well with the use of x-rays. In order to improve visualization, the patient is given gas granules to swallow and asked not to burp until the examination is complete. A chalky Barium drink is then swallowed by the patient while x-rays are taken. Next, while laying on the table the patient is asked to turn while different parts of the stomach are examined. This test takes approximately 10 minutes. Once the patient gets off the table, s/he can burp if needed. Sometimes the patient will be required to stay for a second part, a Small Bowel Follow Thru.
This is a morning appointment. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the examination.
Recommendations for Patients After Barium Exams
Many patients find that they tend to be constipated after Barium Exams, especially if they have been prone to this condition in the past. To prevent this, after any Barium Procedure it is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids. If you are ‘fluid restricted’ due to heart or kidney disease or think you will require a laxative please discuss this with your doctor.