What to Expect During an Upper GI Series of X-rays

An upper gastrointestinal (GI) series is a series of X-ray images of your upper digestive tract. These tests can help detect many issues including ulcers, tumors and some diseases.

Before Your Test

Please avoid eating or drinking after midnight the night 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 and bring your written physician order.

During Your Test

For this test, you will drink barium, which is a liquid that will improve the X-ray images. For some exams, you may be asked to swallow "fizzies," which make air build up in your stomach. If you take fizzies, you'll be asked not to burp even if you feel like to need to.

During the test, you will stand or lie in different positions while X-rays are taken. You may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time during your X-rays.

After Your Test

Your stool may appear white or a lighter color than normal. Drink extra liquids after your test, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Contact your doctor for your results.