Small Bowel Follow Through

Small Bowel Follow Through

What Is A Small Bowel Follow Through

Small Bowel Follow Through is an X-Ray Examination of your stomach and small intestine. The procedure can detect ulcers, inflammation, flow patterns and other abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract. In order for the anatomy to show on Radiographic Images, the small bowel must be coated or filled with a contrast material called Barium. Barium is an element that is swallowed and appears white on x-ray images.

Reasons For Procedure

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Blood in the Stool (Indicating Internal Bleeding)
  • Detect abnormalities such as:
    • Small Bowel obstructions
    • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

How To Prepare For Procedure

You are asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the day PRIOR to your Examination. The quality of x-ray images are degraded if the stomach is not empty of food.

To avoid stomach secretions, which degrade the quality of x-ray images, after midnight the day prior to your procedure, Do Not:

  • Take any medications by mouth (especially Antacids)
  • Eat or drink anything
  • Chew gum
  • Smoke

What To Expect During Procedure

After you check in with the Receptionist, a Technologist will take a preliminary film of your abdomen, as well as your Medical History. Then:

  • You will drink 2-16 ounce glasses of liquid Barium. The Barium has a chalky taste, which we can mask with flavors, such as Strawberry or Chocolate (as long as you are not Diabetic)
  • X-ray images are taken at 15-minute intervals after drinking Barium
  • X-ray images will follow the Barium as it flows through your Small Intestine
  • This procedure takes ~ 1 hour depending on how fast your small intestine functions (please bring something to keep you occupied between x-rays)
  • When Barium begins to flow in your colon, you will be placed on the x-ray table, on your back as Technologist takes x-ray images of this area

Once the procedure is complete, the Radiological Physician will examine the x-ray images to make sure they contain the necessary information for a careful evaluation later. If x-ray images are acceptable, you can dress and leave. Occasionally, repeat Imaging is necessary.

What To Expect After Procedure

You can resume a regular diet and activities immediately after this procedure unless directed otherwise by your referring Physician.

Common Side Effects After Procedure

  • Barium may color stool gray or white for 48-72 hours after procedure
  • Expelling of gas
  • Constipation

NOTE:  It is important to drink extra fluids for 4-5 days after procedure to avoid constipation.

NOTE:  Contact your Physician is you are experiencing constipation 4-5 days after the procedure. A laxative may be required to assist you in the elimination of the Barium.

Who Interprets Test Results & How Will I Receive Them?

The Radiological Physician interprets the x-ray images and forwards a report to your referring Physician. You referring Physician will contact you regarding the results of the procedure, as well as the next course of action if any.

What About Payment?

Radiology Consultants will file all insurance as a courtesy to you. Depending on the Contractual Agreement with your Insurance Company, you may owe a co-payment and/or deductible at the time of service.

* Please bring your Insurance Card with you *

Please visit our BILLING PAGE for specific information on Insurance, Self-Pay, Motor Vehicle Accident, Cash, Debit or Major Credit Card payment options.

Pregnant Patients

Please notify the Radiological Physician and/or Technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant. Radiation is potentially harmful to a developing baby during pregnancy.

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** All images are for educational purposes only. Consult your physician for a proper diagnosis.**