Small Bowel Exam

This is a timed study using contrast material (barium or gastrografin) to evaluate the small bowel. This exam is usually done immediately following an Upper GI.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Eat a small evening meal the day before the exam. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.

What can I expect during the exam?

This exam is conducted by a radiologic technologist and a radiologist.

You will drink two cups of contrast prior to the start of timed images. Then x-rays of the abdomen will be taken at 15 to 30 minute intervals until the contrast has filled the entire length of the small bowel.

The Radiologist will periodically view the patient under fluoro (live x-rays) during the exam.

The exam can take 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the motility of your bowel.

What can I expect after the exam?

Drink plenty of water for two days following the exam. It is not uncommon for stools to be white or gray as the contrast is expelled from your system.