Barium swallow

Best Barium swallow Doctor Ahmedabad
A barium swallow is a special type of X-ray test that helps your doctor take a close look at the back of your mouth and throat, known as the pharynx, and the tube that extends from the back of the tongue down to the stomach, known as the esophagus.
A barium swallow, also called an esophagogram, is an imaging test that checks for problems in your upper GI tract. Your upper GI tract includes your mouth, back of the throat, esophagus, stomach, and first part of your small intestine. The test uses a special type of x-ray called fluoroscopy . Fluoroscopy shows internal organs moving in real time. The test also involves drinking a chalky-tasting liquid that contains barium. Barium is a substance that makes parts of your body show up more clearly on an x-ray.
You may need this test if you have symptoms of an upper GI disorder. These include:
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
A barium swallow is used to help diagnose disorders that affect the esophagus, the stomach and first section of the small intestine. They include:
  • Ulcers
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Esophagitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Cancer
  • Achalasia Cardia
Do not hesitate to discuss with the technicians any questions or concerns you may have before, during, or after the barium swallow test.
  • You will drink about 1 glass of a barium preparation-a chalky drink with the uniformity (but not the flavor) of a milk shake. Children will drink less.
  • The barium can be seen on an X-ray as it passes through the digestive tract.
  • The barium swallow procedure may take about 30 minutes to finish. In certain cases, it may take up to 60 minutes to fill the stomach.
  • X-rays will be taken again as the barium moves through the digestive system. You will be asked to take more swallows so more pictures can be taken.
  • As the barium moves down your digestive system, the table will be tilted at various angles to help spread the barium for different views. Pressure may be applied to your abdomen to spread the barium. Finally, you will be placed horizontally, asked to take a few more swallows of barium, and X-rayed again.

Barium rarely causes any problems. It passes through the digestive system. Drink extra fluids for 12 to 24 hours after the study. If your/your child becomes constipated after the study, drink more liquids. If the constipation continues, talk with your doctor.

Dr. Harsh J Shah

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