What is an Upper GI tract X-ray?

A barium-based contrast material and a real time x-ray called fluoroscopy is used in an Upper GI tract x-ray.  The barium is given orally and helps the radiologist view the food pipe, stomach and small intestine. At times, other contrast materials may also be used. 


Why have I been asked to get an Upper GI tract  X-ray done?

An Upper GI tract X-ray is performed to:
  • Determine the reason for any pain in passing of stool
  • Check for chronic constipation problem or passing of blood in stool.
  • Determine any indigestion or blockage in the small intestine
  • Look for  cancer
  • Assess any bowel related irregularities
  • Examine acid reflux and difficulty in swallowing
  • Examine any ulcers or scarring


Names of Previous reports/scans required?

  • Your entire current medical file and prescription set to be aware of your medical conditions and any sort of allergies.
  • Serum Creatinine reports(not older than 4 weeks) are required to check for the health of your kidneys in case we need to use contrast media to get better images during the scan (preferable to do it on the day of the scan in our lab since it is most indicative of the creatinine level at that time)


How long is the procedure for?

  • Total time – 1 hr 
  • Test time- 10-15 mins


Can I walk in for an Upper GI tract  X-ray without prior appointment?

  •  Yes  (Confirm by calling on 8869906990 before arriving at the centre)


History of allergy?



. How can I prepare for the x-ray?

  • When you schedule your x-ray, you will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare. For example, you may be told not to eat (including chewing gum) or drink  anything beginning at midnight,  the night before your scan.
  •  You are encouraged to drink only clear liquids a day before your scan and avoid milk products.
  • Take medication only with sips of water and limit your clear water intake a day before your  scan
  • Women should tell their doctors if there is any chance they may be pregnant .Wear comfortable clothing and avoid jewellery or any other metal on the body.
  • It is recommended to empty your bladder before the test
  • Inform if you have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted for pregnancy prevention.


How is the Upper GI tract  X-ray done?

The Upper GI examination is usually done on an outpatient basis and is often scheduled in the morning to reduce the patient’s fasting time.
  • You will be asked to drink the liquid barium. The passing of the barium in the body will be examined on fluoroscopy
  • If the patient is a child, and refuses to drink the barium, then it is given through a small tube inserted in the stomach.
  • After the barium is swallowed, you will be  asked to lie on your  stomach so that the barium can spread properly. 
  • Then a series of images are generated. It’s important that you  stay very still and hold your  breath for a few seconds during the time which the image is obtained.
  •  X-ray will be taken from various positions so you may also be asked to be in different positions for different angles
  • You may pass stools in the washroom to remove the barium after the scan.
  • You may eat immediately after the X-ray.