Upper GI Series
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
What is an upper gastrointestinal (GI) series?
An upper gastrointestinal (GI) series (barium swallow), is a radiological test that is used to visualize the structures of the upper digestive system - the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. If it is desired to see the remaining parts of the small intestine, a small bowel series can be added to the test. These structures are seen during the examination, and the images are also are saved for further review on X-ray film or digital images. The results of an upper GI series can reveal conditions such as ulcers, tumors, hiatal hernias, scarring, blockages, and abnormalities of the muscular wall of the gastrointestinal tissues.
What are the risks of an upper GI series?
Any x-ray test procedure involves some risk from radiation exposure. The radiation exposure is minimized by standard techniques that have been assigned and approved by national and international radiology committees and councils. Radiology technicians are certified by national certifying boards.
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