What is Barium Swallow
Barium swallow is an X-ray test. It is used to check your throat and the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach (esophagus).
For this test, you will drink a white liquid called barium. The liquid shows up well on X-rays and helps your doctor see problems.
What happens before the procedure?
- Follow your doctor’s instructions about limiting what you eat or drink.
- Ask your doctor about changing or stopping your normal medicines. This is important if you take diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
What happens during the procedure?
- You will be positioned on an X-ray table.
- You will drink the liquid barium. This liquid looks like a milkshake.
- The X-ray table may be moved so you are more upright. You may also need to change your position on the table.
- X-ray pictures will be shown on a monitor. This allows the doctor to watch the barium as it passes through your body.
The procedure may vary among doctors and hospitals.
What happens after the procedure?
- Return to your normal activities and your normal diet as told by your doctor.
- Your poop (feces) may be white or gray for 2–3 days. You may be given a medicine that helps you poop (laxative). This helps the barium leave your body.
doctor may also tell you to:
- Drink enough fluid to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.
- Eat foods with a lot of fiber in them. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
your doctor if:
- You have trouble pooping (constipation).
- You cannot poop or pass gas.
- You have pain or swelling in your belly (abdomen).
- You have a fever.
- Ask your doctor when and how you will get your test results.