Upper Gastro-Intestinal Series

The Upper Gastro-Intestinal Series is a diagnostic x-ray of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

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 esophagus to the stomach. A series of x-ray films will be taken by the Radiologist and technologist throughout the test. The entire test will take about a half hour. Should x-rays of the small bowel also be needed, more time will be needed. The length of time will depend upon how long it takes the barium to completely outline the organs involved. It is not unusual for x-rays of the small bowel to take up to 1-3 hours.

Preparation Instructions:

  1. You may have a liquid supper (no milk products) the evening before the x-rays. Some examples of a liquid supper are chicken or beef broth, jello, or clear soups.
  2. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight until your x-rays are completed.
  3. Do not eat breakfast the morning of your test until after the x-rays are finished. If you are on medication, 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 instructions given to you by the Medical Imaging staff. You may be asked by the Radiologist to assume various positions during the x-ray to make sure the entire stomach is seen.
  6. You will be able to leave the x-ray 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 in 2-3 days. Your doctor will share the results of this test with you; feel free to ask the doctor if you have any questions.

If you have any questions about your preparation, 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