Top of the page
An upper gastrointestinal (GI) series looks at the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract. The test uses barium contrast material, fluoroscopy, and X-ray. Fluoroscopy is a kind of X-ray.
An upper GI series is done to find the cause of symptoms such as vomiting, burping up food, trouble swallowing, poor weight gain, bleeding, or belly pain. It's used to find narrow spots or blockages in the upper intestinal tract. The test can also find ulcers, polyps, and pyloric stenosis.
You may have to eat a low-fibre diet for a few days before the test, stop eating for 12 hours before the test, or both. You may also need to take a laxative to help clean out your intestines the evening before the test and stop taking certain medicines.
The test will take about 30 to 40 minutes. If you are also having a small bowel study, the test will take 2 to 6 hours.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter J416 in the search box to learn more about "Upper GI Series: About This Test".
Current as of: June 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.