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What are Barium X-rays?

Barium x-rays (also called upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) series) are used to diagnose abnormalities, such as tumors, polyps, hernias, strictures, ulcers and other inflammatory conditions. The barium is administered orally or by enema, and x-rays are taken of the area under examination.

Reasons for performing barium x-ray procedures may include the following:

Abdominal pain
Bleeding from the rectum
Blood in the vomit
Bowel movement changes
Chronic diarrhea or constipation
Pain or difficulty swallowing
Unexplained weight loss
Unusual bloating

Different Types of Barium X-ray Procedures:

Barium Enema - to evaluate large intestine
Small Bowel Follow Through (Small Bowel Series) - to evaluate small intestine
Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Series - to evaluate esophagus, stomach and duodenum
Barium Swallow - to evaluate esophagus
Modified Barium Swallow - to evaluate esophagus with Speech Pathologist present during exam


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