X-ray Small Intestine

This X-ray creates detailed images of the entire small intestine.

This X-ray creates detailed images of the entire small intestine.

An X-ray of the small intestine creates images of the section of bowel between the stomach and the large intestine. This includes the duodenum, jejunum and ileum.

  • The images are usually taken after you swallow a contrast agent called barium sulfate.
  • A series of X-rays are taken to follow the barium as it goes through the small intestine.

Your health care provider may order an X-ray of your small intestine to find the cause of:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Persistent gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea)

Here are some things you should know before having an X-ray.

  • 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.
  • In some cases, other imaging studies may be appropriate (such as an ultrasound or CT scan).
  • You will need to stay still during the test, so the technician can take a clear image.
  • The technician may also want you to hold your breath and get in different positions.

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:

  • Medications you should not take before the procedure
  • Regular medications you should take on the day of your procedure
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before the procedure

After the test, your stool will be white and hard (constipated).

  • Your healthcare provider may give you suggestions on how to prevent constipation after the use of barium.
  • These suggestions include extra 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?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear steps to follow.)
  • What is the reason for this particular test? Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, why do I need the test?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What are the possible risks/complications?
  • How will I feel after the procedure?
  • Do I need to take a laxative after the test? Which one would you recommend?
  • What other procedures may be alternatives to an x-ray of the small intestine? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure?

After your X-ray, 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.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

X-ray Small Intestine
Small Intestine X-ray
Small Intestine Xray
Intestine X-ray
Intestine Xray

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