The preparations for an Upper GI with small bowel series are very important and must be followed exactly to ensure that your exam is accurate.
The entire Upper GI with Small Bowel follow through procedure may take from one to several hours to complete. In rare cases where a patient’s system functions very slowly, films may need to be taken four, six or possibly 24 hours after the first part of the exam. These patients are often encouraged to return to their normal routine and simply return at designated times.
You will be asked to change into a gown and to remove jewelry or other items that could obstruct a clear view from your mouth to your abdomen. Your technologist will ask a series of questions about why you are having the exam. This background information provides very important historical reference to the radiologist who will be supervising your procedure and later interpreting your exam. If there is any possibility that you are pregnant, please be sure to tell your technologist.
While standing next to a movable table, you will be asked to drink barium from a cup. Barium is a radio-opaque liquid that provides a white appearance on x-rays. The radiologist is able to view the barium as it moves down your esophagus and into your stomach providing a real-time view of the function of your upper digestive tract. You will be asked to turn several times and the table may be reclined to coat the stomach and obtain different views. The procedure should not be uncomfortable for you. The barium used is lightly flavored to make it more palatable.
After the initial filming of your stomach, the technologist will take pictures of your abdomen at specific times to show the barium as it flows through your small bowel.
After the Exam
There are no side effects to the procedure and you can return to work or normal activity immediately. It is important to drink extra fluids over the next several days to flush your system of the barium.
Your images will be reviewed and interpreted by one of our staff radiologists. Any previous studies are compared against your new exam and the results are sent directly to your physician. Our goal is to provide your physician with a report within 24 hours of the examination. Having all your outside films at the time of your exam helps ensure your results within that time frame.
The actual results of your exam will be given to you by your doctor who will compare your test results against his or her own clinical findings to provide you with a clear picture of your overall health.Return to top