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.