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Upper GI Series


Updated September 15, 2013

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Upper GI Series
Photo © A.D.A.M.

An upper GI series is a procedure that helps diagnose a variety of digestive symptoms. The procedure allows for a series of X-rays to be taken of the upper part of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach and duodenem (upper part of the small intestine).

Preparation for an upper GI series consists of fasting for a period of eight hours prior to the test. During the procedure you will be asked to drink a barium solution that provides contrast for the video X-rays, called fluroscopy. X-ray pictures will be taken while you are sitting, standing and lying down. You may be asked to shift position during the test. At times, a staff member may press on your abdomen. The procedure takes approximately three hours.

In a double contrast upper GI series, you will be asked to ingest a carbonated solution in addition to the barium. This extra solution releases gas within the stomach to provide an enhanced view of the stomach lining.

Following an upper GI series, your stools may be a lighter color than usual as the barium solution is excreted.

Anal Sphincter EMG | Anorectal Manometry | Balloon Expulsion Test | Barium Enema | The Colonic Transit Time Test | Colonoscopy | Defecography | Hydrogen Breath Testing | Lactose Intolerance Testing | MRI Defecography | Sigmoidoscopy | Upper Endoscopy | Virtual Colonoscopy

Also Known As:
  • Barium swallow
  • Barium swallow x-ray
  • Double contrast upper GI series
  • GI series
  • Upper GI and Small Bowel Series
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