Specialized Radiology (Fluoroscopy – barium swallow, Arthrography)

The barium swallow is a specialized radiology technique that uses X-rays and a special contrast known as barium. The presence of the barium inside the body allows for the production of images of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine.

An arthrography is a specialized radiology technique that uses X-rays and a special contrast know as iodine. The presence of iodine inside the body allows for the production of images of a given joint or articulation. The arthrogram can be used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

The barium meal and barium enema are part of the services offered by the Diagnostic Imaging Department.

How to access our services

  • You must have a referral from your family physician to secure an appointment.
  • If you are diabetic, you must inform the secretary prior to scheduling your appointment.

About The Program

Prior to your appointment

  1. Your family physician will send us a referral for examination by fax – please ensure that your contact information is up-to-date so we can contact you.
  2. The hospital will contact you within 2 to 4 weeks to schedule your appointment, which will take place a few weeks later. Therefore, it could take up to 8 weeks between your doctor’s referral and your appointment date.
  3. You will receive a reminder call two days before your appointment.
  4. Prepare adequately for your exam by following the provided instructions.

What to bring

  • Health card

When you arrive

  • Please register at the self-registration kiosk 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • You will need to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will need to remove jewelry such as rings, earrings and necklaces and any other metal objects.

Preparation and exam

Barium swallow

  • If you are breast-feeding; pregnant or think you might be pregnant, please inform the technologist.
  • Do not drink; eat or smoke for at least 8 hours prior to the exam.
  • If your appointment is after 1 p.m., you can eat a light breakfast of toast, jam and a beverage at 8 a.m.
  • Take your medications as usual.
  • In the exam room you will be given 150 ml of liquid barium to drink. You will need to take small sips at precise intervals. The images are taken as you swallow the liquid.
  • You will stand up for part of the exam. You will be asked to lie down on the exam table for another part of the exam.
  • The exam will last about 15 minutes.
  • Over the next 24 hours you will need to drink a lot of water to flush the barium from your system.
  • Barium can cause constipation. It is recommended that you drink a lot of liquids in the 48 hours following your exam. You can resume your regular diet. If you are prone to constipation, you can drink prune juice or take a laxative. If you have not had a bowel movement 2 days following your exam, please consult your family physician.

Arthrography

  • No preparation is necessary for this exam.

Results of your exam

  • Radiology technologists are not able to give you the results of your exam. Results will be sent to your physician within 10 working days.
  • You must book an appointment with your family doctor or health-care professional that sent us the referral to discuss your test results.