What to Expect During a Small Bowel Series of X-rays

A small bowel series examines your small intestines using a series of X-rays. These tests can help detect obstructions, tumors and some diseases.

Before Your Exam

Please avoid eating or drinking after midnight the day before your exam. This includes water and gum. You should also avoid smoking during this time. You will need to let your technologist know if you did eat or drink anything after midnight.

You should also let the technologist know if have any allergies, if you are or may be pregnant, if you take any medications and if you've had any previous surgeries.

Please arrive to your appointment 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register.

During Your Exam

You will drink barium for this test to help improve the X-ray images. A series of X-rays will be taken at timed intervals as the barium moves through your small bowel. Your technologist may ask you to hold your breath for a short time during the exam.

After Your Exam

Drink extra liquids after your exam, unless instructed otherwise by your physician. Your stool may appear white or a lighter color than normal after your test. Contact your doctor to discuss your results. Let him or her know if you are having any difficulty with your bowel movements after your exam.