Upper Gastrointestinal X-ray (Upper GI)

An upper GI X-ray looks at the esophagus and the stomach to detect abnormalities that may be causing difficulty swallowing. It also looks at the stomach for abnormalities such as ulcers, hiatal hernias or tumors.

We will be using radiation for this exam. Please notify your doctor if you are pregnant.

Before Your Procedure

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight.
  • You may take your medications with a sip of water up until 4 hours before your exam.
  • If you are diabetic, please discuss the use of your diabetic medications with your doctor.

During Your Procedure

  • You will drink barium, a thick white liquid.
  • X-rays are taken as you drink the barium.
  • Sometimes you are also asked to swallow crystals that will form gas to expand your stomach.

After Your Procedure

  • You may resume your regular diet.
  • Your stools may be light colored or chalky, this is normal.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (if you are not on fluid restriction) to help move the barium through your system, otherwise you may become constipated. If you have not had a bowel movement in three days, contact your doctor. You may be advised to use a laxative.
  • Your doctor will be contacted with the results of your test and will discuss the results with you.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

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