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Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal Series
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The Upper GI Series

Concept

The upper GI series consists of using the x-ray method for the diagnosis of problems in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Also, could be used for the examination of the small intestine. This technique shows a blockage, abnormal growth, ulcer or organ malfunctioning.

What to expect during the procedure?

  • The procedure takes 1 to 2 hours. However, x-ray of the small intestine takes 3 to 5 hours.
  • During the procedure, you will be asked to drink a liquid called barium (It looks like a thick, white milkshake liquid)
  • Barium will stick to the inner part of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, so they appear clearly on x-rays.
  • By using a machine called the fluoroscope, radiologist will observe barium moving in your system. Thus showing any abnormal functions of the digestive tract. As barium reaches the small intestine, he will take an x-ray of it also.
  • Using this procedure, the radiologist could detect ulcers, scar tissue, abnormal growth, hernias or blocked areas of the digestive tract.

 

What to expect after the procedure?

  • Barium may cause constipation, white colored stool for few days after the procedure.

 

Lower GI Series

Concept

It consists of using x-ray for the diagnosis of large intestine, including colon and rectum.

 

How should you prepare yourself before the procedure?

  • The colon should be empty during the procedure thus your diet should be restricted to liquids 2 days before the procedure (this will be instructed by you physician). Your diet will include fat-free bouillon, gelatin, plain coffee, plain tea, diet soda, fresh juices and others.
  • You will be given a laxative or an enema (please follow your physician instructions)

 

Why is it needed?

It shows problems such as abnormal growth, ulcers, polyps and colon cancer.

 

What to expect during the procedure?

  • This procedure takes 2 to 3 hours
  • The radiologist will insert a barium liquid into your colon, which will help showing clearly colon and rectum on x-ray.
  • You may feel uncomfortable during the procedure and feel the urge of bowel movements.
  • You may be asked to change your position to detect different views of the colon.

 

What to expect during the procedure?

  • The barium may cause constipation
  • Your stool may turn to gray or white for a few days after the procedure.

 

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