Barium Swallow

The Barium Swallow is a diagnostic series of x-rays of the esophagus.

The Procedure:

An x-ray camera will be placed over you in a dimly lit room. While you are drinking a solution called barium, a Radiologist (x-ray doctor) will use fluoroscopy to follow the barium from the mouth through the stomach. The esophagus (also called food pipe) connects the mouth to the stomach. A series of x-rays will be taken by the Radiologist and technologist throughout the test.

Procedure time: 30 minutes

Preparation Instructions Inpatient or Outpatient:

  1. You may have a liquid supper (no milk products) the evening before the x-rays.
  2. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight until your x-rays are completed.
  3. Do not eat breakfast the morning of your x-rays until the x-rays are completed. If on medications, you may take them with a small amount of water.
  4. No evening snack.

For Your Information:

  1.  Any woman who is pregnant, or thinks she might be, should let her doctor know before having the x-ray.
  2. Please inform the technologist of any known allergies.
  3. Do not bring jewelry or large amounts of money with you.
  4. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  5. Relax and follow the specific directions given to you by the Medical Imaging staff.
  6. You will be able to leave the medical imaging department when the test is finished. Discharge instructions will be given to outpatients.
  7. The Radiologist (x-ray doctor) will “read” the scan and give the results to your doctor. Your doctor will share the results of this test with you in 2-3 days; feel free to ask the doctor if you have any questions.

If you have any questions about getting ready for your test, please call 419-394-3335, ext. 3550 for assistance.



Grand Lake Health System
200 St. Clair Street, St. Marys,
Ohio 45885-2400
| 1-419-394-3335 | 1-877-564-6897