Services » Barium follow through
Barium follow through
This X-ray examination of your small bowel will be performed by a technologist who is an expert in the use of X-ray equipment and a radiologist, who is a doctor specialising in medical diagnosis using X-rays.
Available from Cashmere Radiology and St George's Radiology.
The time for this examination varies between 90 minutes and 4 hours. Please allow yourself plenty of time.
If you are pregnant or think you might be, please notify us prior to your appointment.
HOW TO PREPARE
Do not have anything to eat or drink for six hours before the examination. Continue to take all usual medications.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You will be asked to remove most of your clothing and will be given a gown to wear. You will then be given several cups of white fluid (barium) to drink. This does not taste too bad but does have a chalky texture.
After you have entered the X-ray room you will be positioned on the X-ray table. This table is able to slowly change position from horizontal to vertical but you will be warned when this is about to happen.
You may be asked to lie on your side or stomach or some pressure may be applied to your lower abdomen.
From time to time you will be asked to remain still and hold your breath while X-ray pictures are taken. Please listen to the instructions given.
This examination requires the whole small bowel to be seen. After the first films have been obtained you will be asked to wait in your cubicle. From time to time you will be taken back into the X-ray room and further images will be obtained as the barium moves through the bowel.
Normally your small bowel does not show up on the X-ray film because it is similar in density to the surrounding tissues.
Barium is a harmless material, which forms a thin lining on the inside of your digestive tract so that the surfaces are clearly outlined.
You have an important role in making the examination a success. Be sure to follow all of your instructions carefully.
You should feel no after effects. The barium will make your motions pale for several days. It is heavy and will settle in the toilet, so flush twice.
You may resume your normal diet immediately after the examination. Drink plenty of fluids.
WHAT ABOUT THE RESULTS
The radiologist will study your images and the report will be sent to your referrer.