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Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Series

How To Prepare continued...

The evening before the test, you may be asked to take a laxative to help clean out your intestines. If your stomach can't empty well on its own, you may have a special tube put through your nose and down into your stomach just before the test begins. A gentle suction on the tube will drain the stomach contents.

If you are having the small bowel follow-through after the UGI series, you will need to wait between X-rays. The entire small bowel follow-through exam takes up to 6 hours, so bring along a book to read or some other quiet activity.

You may be asked to sign a consent form.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

A UGI series is usually done in a clinic or the X-ray department of a hospital. You do not need to stay overnight in the hospital. The test is done by a radiologist and a radiology technologist.

Before the test

You will need to take off your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You will need to take out any dentures and take off any jewelry. You may not smoke or chew gum during the test, since the stomach will respond by making more gastric juices and this will slow the movement of the barium through the intestines.

You will lie on your back on an X-ray table. The table is tilted to bring you to an upright position with the X-ray machine in front of you. Straps may be used to keep you safely on the table. The technologist will make sure you are comfortable during changes in table position.

During the test

You will have one X-ray taken before you drink the barium mix camera.gif. Then you will take small swallows repeatedly during the series of X-rays that follow. The radiologist will tell you when and how much to drink. By the end of the test, you may have swallowed 1 cup (240 mL) to 2.5 cup (600 mL) of the barium mixture.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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