Preparing for Your Barium Exam

Barium Studies / Fluoroscopy

Patients are requested to wear loose comfortable clothing for general radiography. Patients may be asked to wear a gown for the examination as well. Patients will also be asked to remove all clothing, hearing aids, removable dental material and jewelry in the region being imaged.

Women should also inform the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

In general:

  • Please plan on showing up 15 minutes prior to scheduled exam time
    • If having a defogram (specific study) – show up 1 hr prior to study
  • Expect the scan to take approximately 30 to 60 minutes depending on study – some studies such as a small bowel series may take up to 4 hours
  • Results will be given to the ordering physicians office within 24 hrs

Specific examples of common preparations are as follows:

  • Fasting (NPO – nothing by mouth) after midnight or NPO 8 hrs if scan is later in afternoon for adults, NPO 4 hrs for children
    • Upper GI Study – looks at esophagus and stomach
    • Esophogram Study – looks at esophagus
    • Small Bowel Study
  • Fasting after midnight and a “colon cleaning” preparation the night before (GoLYTELY)
    • Double Contrast Barium Enema

Download a PDF of this information.