Upper GI X-ray in Chicago, Illinois
An upper GI X-ray is a diagnostic test used to examine the esophagus, stomach, and beginning portion of the small intestine (the duodenum). As with any X-ray, this test utilizes a controlled dose of radiation to produce images of the upper GI tract that are then recorded on a computer for one of our gastroenterologists to review.
The Purpose of An Upper GI X-Ray
Patients are likely to undergo this particular type of X-ray if their gastroenterologist believes that they suffer from a dysfunction of the upper GI tract. These problems can be characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Severe indigestion
- Frequent belching
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain in the abdomen
If any of the above symptoms cannot be explained by an existing medical condition, diagnostic tests are the next logical step to determine the exact cause of the patient’s discomfort. An upper GI X-ray can often identify instances of a blockage within the gastrointestinal tract, a hiatal hernia, diverticulitis, ulcers, or gastric reflux.
Details About the Upper GI X-ray
In order to prepare for an upper GI X-ray, patients must refrain from eating or drinking prior to their exam to ensure that their stomach is empty so that a clear visual can be obtained during the test. Individuals will also be instructed to change into a special gown before their X-ray to avoid any buttons, zippers, or other objects that may interfere with the images being taken. Women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant should not complete this procedure, as the radiation used during the test can have harmful effects on a developing fetus.
The X-ray itself will usually last for a total of 30-60 minutes, and is completed at our office location in Chicago, Illinois. Patients will be given a thick liquid to drink during the procedure that is made of barium sulfate, which will work to coat the upper GI tract and increase the visibility of this area in the X-rays taken at the very same time.
Patients may return home at the conclusion of their upper GI X-ray, and should await further information from their gastroenterologist after they have had time to review the scans and form insights about what exactly may be causing the patient’s symptoms. Individuals are advised to drink plenty of water following their procedure to flush out the barium sulfate solution. Side effects from this liquid are mild, though it is not uncommon for patients to experience white colored stool and difficulty with bowel movements within the first 2 days following their upper GI X-ray.
It is important to contact GI Solutions of Illinois immediately if you experience any severe symptoms after an upper GI X-ray, such as a fever, significant abdominal pain, or inability to complete a bowel movement after 2 days post-procedure. For any other questions or concerns regarding your scheduled upper GI X-ray, please contact our office by calling (773) 631-2728.