G.I. Series. G.I. Series are X-rays of the gastrointestinal tract (which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) which is visualized following the ingestion of barium, a contrast medium.

The Preparation

The evening before the exam you will have a light meal. Clear liquids are permitted until 9 PM. After 9 PM, no food or liquids are allowed until the examination is competed. The light meal should include the following only:

  • Consommé
  • Chicken or turkey, baked or white meat without skin
  • Bread, white (may be toasted)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Jello, plain
  • Coffee or tea, black
  • Salt, sugar

Clear liquids are allowed until 9 PM. (Clear liquids include only coffee, tea, consommé, apple juice, cranberry juice, and carbonated beverages)

Again, after 9 PM, no food or liquids are allowed until the examination is completed.

You will be given a gown to wear before the X-rays are taken. We suggest you take reading material with you, if you wish.

During the test

In the X-ray department, you will be taken to a room where you will be given a cup of barium to sip. The barium has a pleasant fruit taste.

X-rays will then be taken while you lie and stand on an X-ray table. The radiologist will tell you to lie and stand in various positions and direct you in drinking the barium.

After the test

After the test you will return to your room, or home, if you are an out-patient. You may now eat your usual diet.

The barium that you drink during the test may discolor your bowel movement white for a day or two.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse.


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