An Upper GI Series is an X-ray exam of your upper digestive tract, the area from your mouth to the start of your small intestine or duodenum.
An upper GI series uses a special form of X-ray called fluoroscopy, which provides a view of how your GI tract looks and functions. The exam also uses a contrast material called barium to improve the X-ray images.
An upper GI exam helps to assess overall digestive function and detect:
- Inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
- Hiatal hernias
- Abnormalities of the muscular wall of gastrointestinal tissues
The procedure may help diagnose various symptoms, including:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest and abdominal pain
- Reflux (a backward flow of partially digested food and digestive juices)
- Unexplained vomiting
- Severe indigestion
- Blood in the stool (indicating internal GI bleeding)
The Patient Order Form is needed for all outpatient exams.