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The Upper GI Study (GI Series)

What is a UGI Study?
How do you get ready for the test?
What happens during an Upper GI Study?
What does barium taste like?
What should you do after the test?
How long will the test take?
How do you get to your appointment?

 

What is a UGI Study?

Your doctor has suggested you have an Upper GI as part of you evaluation at National Jewish Health. The UGI is a study that is completed in radiology and is sometimes known as a GI series. The test evaluates the stomach. This will help your doctor identify possible problems and the best treatment. This study also involves the drinking of barium much like the barium swallow/esophagram study.

 

How do you get ready for the test?

  • Adults – Do not eat or drink for 8 hours prior to procedure. That is nothing by mouth for 8 hours. Give medicines at the regular times with a small sip of water.
  • Children – No solid foods 6 hours prior to procedure. A clear liquid diet anytime prior to the procedure is fine. Give medicines at the regular times with water.
  • Infants – Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to procedure. Your child should be thirsty and ready to drink upon arrival for the barium swallow study. Bring a special cup or sippy cup your child likes to use. If your child drinks best from a bottle, bring a bottle. 
  • Wear clothing that you can remove from the waist up. You will be given a gown to wear.
  • The Upper GI uses x-rays and anyone who is pregnant cannot be in the room during the x-ray.

 

What happens during an Upper GI Study?

Before the study you/your child will need to remove all clothing and jewelry from the waist up. You will be given a hospital gown to wear. The study is completed in a radiology (x-ray/fluoroscopy) room. If a child is having the Upper GI, a family member or caregiver will be encouraged to stay in the x- ray room to make it easier for the child. The radiologist or radiology practitioner assistant (RPA) operates the fluoroscopy equipment and takes images of the stomach.  The radiologist provides a medical diagnosis for your physician.   

You/your child will be asked to drink 1 to 2 cups of barium. The barium is a contrast material that makes liquids show up on the image screen as gray or black. You/your child will drink the barium while standing up and while lying down.

If you have any questions or don’t understand the instructions please ask.

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What does barium taste like?

Barium is heavy and has a chalky taste. Children and adults may dislike the taste. Flavors may be added to make the barium pleasant tasting. Children under 12 months often like the taste of barium.

 

What should you do after the test?

Barium rarely causes any problems. It passes through the digestive system. Drink extra fluids for 12 to 24 hours after the study. If your/your child becomes constipated after the study, drink more liquids and eat more fruit. If the constipation continues, talk with your doctor. 

 

How long will the test take?

The UGI study will take about 30 minutes. Some of the time is taken preparing for the study.

 

How do you get to your appointment?

Your appointment is in radiology. Radiology is in on the third floor of the Smith Building.  On the day of your test, first report to the Admissions Desk just inside the Main Entrance. Admissions will direct you to the appropriate location for your test. 

If you have questions, or will not be able to make your appointment, please call: 303-398-1611.

Get directions and see a campus map of National Jewish Health.

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This information has been approved by Will Cook, R.T. M.A. (January 2012)

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If you have questions, or will not be able to make your appointment, please call: 303.398.1611.

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