This special X-ray creates detailed images of the esophagus (also known as the food pipe), stomach and the entire small intestine (duodenum).
An upper GI (UGI) with small bowel X-rays is a special set of X-rays that are taken after you swallow a dye called barium. The barium helps create detailed images of the:
An UGI with small intestine X-rays also includes several X-rays of the entire small intestine.
With this UGI, images are taken after you swallow two types of contrast. This is known as an air-contrast or double-contrast upper GI series.
Your health care provider may order an upper GI series with X-rays of your small intestine to determine the cause of:
UGIs are not ordered as often as they use to be.
Tell the technician if you are, or could be, pregnant. The exposure from a single X-ray has not been associated with harmful effects to an unborn baby, but precautions should be taken.
Prior to the procedure, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
Your healthcare provider may give you suggestions on ways you can prevent constipation after the use of barium. These can include fluids and a mild laxative.
The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.
What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?
After your upper GI series, your healthcare provider should provide a description of any problems found during the procedure and what symptoms you should report. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.
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