An Upper GI / Esophogram / Small Bowel Series exam requires your child to swallow a barium liquid in order to visualize his/her digestive tract. You will be able to stay with your child during the exam. Siblings will not be permitted in the exam room, please have someone accompany you to the hospital if siblings must come with you, so they may stay with them in the waiting room. If you are pregnant you will not be permitted in the exam room, please have someone accompany you to the hospital that is willing to stay with your child during the exam.
Children under 2 yrs. should not have anything to eat or drink 3 hours prior to the exam
Children 2-6 years should not have anything to eat or drink from midnight before the exam.
Your appointment will be scheduled ahead of time by the hospitalês booking office. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam, as you will be required to register and also visit our billing office. Please keep in mind that our hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center and emergencies often arise beyond our control. Occasionally this may delay the start of your exam. Another thing to be aware of is that we have many x-ray rooms in our department, and certain exams may only be performed in certain rooms. The order in which you arrive in our department may not necessarily be the order in which you are taken into an exam room due to room availability.
You and your child will be escorted into the exam room by a radiologic technologist. Your child will have to change into a hospital gown, and a plain x-ray film will be taken to ensure that the preparation for the exam was followed correctly. The radiologist will enter the room and take a brief history from you so that he/she will be able to perform an accurate study for your child. Children that are still fed by a bottle will be given a bottle filled with barium to drink. Older children will drink the barium through a straw. The radiologist will use an x-ray camera called a fluoroscope to visualize your childês anatomy and take pictures for a proper and accurate diagnosis as your child drinks the barium. Occasionally, if your child will not drink this barium liquid, a tube will have to be inserted into your childês stomach through the mouth or nose in order to introduce the barium into his/her digestive tract. This will not hurt, however it is uncomfortable, and is used only as a last resort for uncooperative children unable or unwilling to drink the barium. Once the exam begins, you will not be able to hold your child and it is important to follow the radiologistês instructions to turn your child in various positions so we may be able to take all the necessary x-ray pictures while your child lies on the x-ray table. This exam typically takes 20-30 minutes, and if a Small Bowel Series is requested by your pediatrician, possibly 2 hours. Total exam time for just an UGI/ esophagram is 45 minutes from when you enter the exam room, until you are able to leave.
Your child may eat and drink immediately following the exam. Please be sure to have them drink plenty of liquids so the barium does not cause constipation. It is also very important to reinforce that they were well behaved and did a "good job". Please do not instill negative thoughts into your child as often occurs, such as "the mean people are done now, we can go" or the "mean doctor" left the room and we donêt ever have to do that again. There may come a time when your child may have to visit our department again, and we want them to have a positive experience here.
The results of your childês exam will usually be sent to your pediatrician the same day. You may get the results from your pediatrician