University of Iowa Department of Radiology
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Creation Date: February 1993
Last Revision Date: February 1993
The purpose of this x-ray exam is to study the entire length of the small bowel, in a very controlled manner, with barium (a white liquid that permits the visualization of the small bowel).
Interpretation of Results
The radiologist will interpret the results of the procedure and will report the information to your physician who in turn will discuss the report with you.
The X-ray Itself
The examine will be performed by a radiologist--a doctor who specializes in x-ray examinations and interpretation. The radiologist will be using a machine called a fluoroscope to do the examination.
To start the examination, a technologist will take an X-ray of your abdomen. The radiologist will then insert a small diameter rubber tube through your nose and push it through your stomach into your small intestine. After the tubing is in the proper place, it will be taped to your nose. The tubing is then connected to a machine that will administer barium into your small intestine. As the barium flows in, you may hove a full feeling in your abdomen. Slow, deep breaths may help you relax.
The radiologist takes films as the barium flows. You may be asked to roll in various positions to obtain these films.
After the films are reviewed by the radiologist the tube is then removed. This exam will last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. When the examination is finished, you may return to your normal diet. Your physician may give you a laxative to help with the passage of barium.