Barium Swallow

ExitCare ImageA barium swallow is an X-ray test. It is used to check your throat and the esophagus.

BEFORE THE TEST

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight before the test.

  • Do not chew gum or smoke after midnight before the test.

  • Ask your doctor about changing or stopping your medicines.

TEST

You will put on a hospital gown and lie on a table. You will drink a white liquid called barium. The doctor will take X-ray pictures. The pictures show the barium as it passes through your body. The doctor will ask you to hold still during the test.

AFTER THE TEST

  • Your poop (stools) may be gray or white for 1 to 3 days.

  • Take your regular medicines.

  • Eat a normal diet and go back to normal activities.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You cannot poop (constipated).

  • You have trouble swallowing.

  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous) or you throw up (vomit).

  • You have chest pain or belly (abdominal) pain.

  • You feel lightheaded, have unusual sweating, or you pass out (faint).

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.