Exam Preparations

Small Bowel

Description:

An x-ray examination of the small intestines, which may be done by itself, or immediately following an Upper GI series. The patient will be asked to drink a barium preparation to make the small intestines visible on x-ray.

Preparation:

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight (NPO). This includes any medication. If you are uncomfortable postponing any medication for 2-3 hours consult your physician.

Exam Time:

Because of the small intestines length (approximately 26 feet) and varied motility, this process can take as little as 30 minutes or as much as several hours. The entire length of the small bowel must be visualized before the exam is complete. The speed at which the barium travels within the small bowel depends entirely upon each individual patient’s body.

Patients should arrive 15 minutes early to process paperwork

Post Instructions:

It is recommended that fluids be increased for the remainder of the day following the Small bowel series to help the body completely evacuate the residual barium.