What to Expect After Upper GI Series

Updated at: Jul 15, 2014
What to Expect After Upper GI Series

The upper gastrointestinal series looks at the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract. Barium contrast material, fluoroscopy, and X-rays are used in the test.

Vasudha Bhat
Other DiseasesWritten by: Vasudha BhatPublished at: Dec 31, 2013

What is Upper Gastrointestinal Series?

An upper gastrointestinal series (UGI) is the series which looks at the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract. Barium contrast material, fluoroscopy, and X-rays.
The patient is made to drink a maximum of barium and water and the barium is combined with gas-making crystals. The movement of the barium is examined through the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestines on a video screen. Also, few x-ray films are made which are taken at different times and different views.

Upper GI Series

Why is Upper GI Done?

An upper gastrointestinal series is usually conducted in order to find out the reason behind gastrointestinal symptoms. The symptoms of gastrointestinal include problems with swallowing, vomiting, burping up food, pain in the belly, or indigestion.


Upper GI Series

What to do Before the Test?

The doctor may ask you about your medication details and if you are allergic to any medicines, barium, or any other material to be used during x-rays. The doctor will also make sure that the patient is not pregnant. The patient may be asked to stay on a low-fiber diet 2-3 days before the test and may be asked to stop eating before 12 hours of the test. Also, the health care provider may also ask the patient to stop certain medications.

What to Expect after the Test?

After an upper GI series, the person can expect the following:

  • Nausea for a short duration.
  • The person can start with normal activities after being discharged from the hospital.
  • Barium in the GI tract makes the stools to turn white or light in colour.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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