1. The exam that has been ordered for you is a BARIUM SWALLOW. This test will examine your esophagus.
  2. Please do not eat or drink anything after midnight. If medication must be taken before your appointment time, you may wish to ask your doctor if it is OK to delay your medication, or call our department for instructions.
  3. You will begin this examination in a standing position and swallowing some effervescent crystals (like Alka-Seltzer). Following this, you will be asked to drink barium. Barium is an inert substance, has no calories or nutritional value, and will not harm you. Both the Radiologist and technologist will perform this test.
  4. Following your exam, you may eat normally. Drinking plenty of fluids will normally prevent constipation, but if you begin to feel constipated, take a mild laxative. The barium solution will cause your stool to appear chalky in color. This color will fade as the barium is eliminated from your digestive tract.
  5. You will receive your report from your doctor.