Community Health Network

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UGI (upper gastrointestinal) series patient information

Your understanding of the tests and treatments you receive is very important to everyone at Community Howard Regional Health System. Therefore, this information is meant to acquaint you with standard procedures followed in a routine UGI series. This information provides you with the basic facts and information about this test. Read the material, share it with your family, and ask any clarifying questions of the nurse or technologist.

Definition

A UGI series is a group of pictures taken of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. A special liquid called barium is swallowed. X-rays are directed toward you, which bounce off the barium inside and cast shadows on the x-ray film. This film serves as a permanent record and is studied by a radiologist, who is trained to interpret x-rays.

Preparation

  1. The evening before the x-ray you are not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum after midnight.
  2. Necessary medication may be taken with a sip of water.
  3. You may brush your teeth, but avoid swallowing any water.
  4. Do not eat breakfast before your x-ray.

Procedure

  1. Arrive at Community Howard Regional Health System’s Registration Department.
  2. The staff will ask you to put on a special gown without snaps and to remove jewelry.
  3. You will give given a cup of chilled liquid called barium to drink.
  4. You will be placed on an x-ray table and x-rays will be taken of your esophagus and stomach. From time to time, you will be asked to remain perfectly still and to hold your breath. You may be asked to drink more barium.
  5. When the x-ray is over and the films are checked by the radiologist, you will be free to leave the facility. Once you leave, you may have breakfast.
  6. Before bedtime you may take a laxative to help clear your digestive tract of the barium.
  7. A radiologist will study your x-rays and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Your comfort during this procedure is very important to the staff at Community Howard Regional Health System. Please let the technologist know if there is something that can be done to make you more comfortable during this procedure. If you have other questions not answered here, please don’t hesitate to call the Imaging Services Department at (765) 453-8413. Thank you for allowing us to service your healthcare needs.

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