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Upper GI Series/Upper GI Series with Small Bowel Follow-Through

A GI or gastrointestinal series is an X-ray exam of the esophagus, stomach, and sometimes the small intestine that requires you to drink a liquid called barium.

Preparing for your Exam-Before, During, After

  • Do not eat or drink anything from midnight the night before your exam to your scheduled appointment time.  Essential medication may be taken with a sip of water.  If you are diabetic, please consult with your doctor before taking any medication on the morning of your exam.
  • You will be asked to swallow a mildly flavored barium drink.  This mixture fills the stomach and intestines, allowing them to be visible on the X-ray screen.  The radiologist will watch the images of your intestine on a special X-ray television screen. At times, the radiologist will ask you to change your position or hold your breath so that images may be taken.
  • Depending on the part of the body being examined, an exam can range in time from one to three hours
  • After the exam, you may eat and drink as normal.
  • Your primary care physician will discuss the results with you.