Note: The following preps are for outpatient care only.

For questions about any of these preps, please contact the Radiology Reception Desk, at (734) 936-4500 for more information.

Barium Enema

This is an examination of your large intestine.  The examination involves placing the tip of an enema tube into your rectum. The tip has a balloon on it, which will help you hold the material. A barium mixture will then flow into the rectum, filling the entire large bowel. In most cases, air will be used to push the barium along and to distend the bowel. A series of x-ray images will be taken. To get a high quality examination, your bowel must be completely cleaned out. Follow GI/GU Prep E very closely.


No patient preparation is required for defecography prior to arriving at UMHS for the examination.


This is a specialized examination is of the small intestine, and involves the placement of a small tube through your nose (or mouth) and into the first part of your small intestine. Twp different liquids are injected through the tube directly into your intestine. While the material is being injected into your intestine, x-ray images will be taken of your bowel. Follow GI/GU Prep C.

Esophagram or Barium Swallow

This is an examination which evaluates your esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube which connects your mouth to your stomach.  The study will involve drinking a barium mixture which can be see with x-rays.  You may be given some crystals to swallow, which produce gas in your stomach and esophagus. A series of x-ray images will be taken. Follow GI/GU Prep A.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

This is an exam of your urinary system, including your kidneys, and their function. You will be given a contrast agent ("dye") into a vein. This will be followed by a series of x-ray images. Even though the examination is of your urinary system it is important that your large bowel be free of stool. Follow GI/GU Prep C.

Small Bowel Follow Through

This is an examination of the entire small intestine. The time required for this exam varies greatly from one patient to another, and depends on how actively your intestinal tract is functioning.  It may be prolonged if there should be some obstruction. You will be given several 7-ounce glasses of barium to drink. The actual number depends on how long it takes for the exam to be completed. X-ray images are taken at varying intervals, from 15 minutes to an hour or more, again depending on the activity of the bowel. The entire examination may take as little as an hour but may well last more than four or five hours. Follow GI/GU Prep C very carefully.

Swallowing Study

This examination looks at the throat and evaluates your ability to safely swallow different thicknesses of foods. It is often done with a Speech Therapist. If your physician desires one of these therapists to be involved, he or she will contact Speech Therapy to schedule the procedure. The x-ray evaluation of your swallowing is recorded on videotape. Follow GI/GU Prep A.

Upper GI

This examination looks at your esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of your small bowel. You will be given a barium solution to drink. You may be given some powder, which produces gas in your stomach. Several x-ray images will be taken during the examination. Follow GI/GU Prep B.

Reviewed and Approved:
Joel Platt, MD
Cindy Patierno