A tradition of Excellence in Patient Care




An esophagram, or barium swallow, is a fluoroscopic examination that focuses upon the cervical and thoracic esophagus. This study is useful in detecting disorders of swallowing, masses, gastroesophageal reflux and esophagitis, to name a few.


- If the examination does not include the stomach, please refrain from eating four hours prior to the exam. Liquids may be ingested up to two hours preceding the exam.
- On the day of your exam, please go directly to the 3310 Richmond location. Please be sure to bring the signed order from your physician requesting the examination, and your insurance cards as well.

Your Radiology Examination:

- In the Radiology Department on the day of your x-ray, you will be given a barium liquid to drink. This flavored liquid shows clearly on an x-ray, making it possible to deliver an accurate diagnosis.
- You will stand with your back against an x-ray table. The radiologist will view your esophagus through the use of a digital fluoroscope and television monitor.
- The doctor will ask you to swallow the barium liquid, and at certain times ask you to briefly hold your breath while x-ray-images are taken.
- The table will then be lowered and while you are lying down, the radiologist will again ask you to swallow the barium liquid while more x-ray pictures are taken.
-An Esophagram takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.
-The radiologist will send a report to your doctor.