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Barium Swallow (cont.)

Next Steps

Ask your doctor for the results of your barium swallow test. You may have to wait a few days until the radiologist (a specialist in X-ray examinations) looks at the X-rays and gives your doctor the final results. Your doctor will recommend a plan of action based on the results.

  • The x-rays will show the digestive wave (peristalsis) through the length of the esophagus. When barium reaches the end of the esophagus, the barium enters the stomach.
  • The barium swallow may reveal problems in the pharynx (the back of the throat), the esophagus, or the stomach. The problems could be narrowing, tumors, polyps, ulcers (erosions), or disorders in moving food through the system. It can also show a hiatal hernia, diverticula (pouches opening along the esophagus), or varices (enlarged veins).
  • If the barium swallow test shows any area of concern, your doctor may plan what other tests, procedures, treatments, or medications you may need. The treatment for problems discovered during a barium swallow vary depending on the condition.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/6/2013
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