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General Radiography (x-rays)

X-rays, Upper GI studies, Barium Enemas, and IVPs all use conventional x-rays to produce images of the area of interest, whether it is a broken bone or the gastrointestinal tract. For most conventional x-rays you need a written order from your doctor, and usually no appointment is necessary. IVPs, barium enemas, and GI studies require an appointment.

Because these exams utilize small amounts of radiation, you should inform your physician, nurse, or radiology technologist if there is a possibility that you may be pregnant before x-rays are obtained.

GI studies, including Upper GI’s and Barium Enemas, evaluate the gastrointestinal tract or colon using administered barium contrast followed by conventional x-rays. An IVP is a study to look at the kidneys and urinary system. x-ray contrast (dye) is injected into a vein through a standard IV, and serial x-rays are taken.

Frequently Asked Questions about X-rays, IVP’s, BE’s, and Upper GI’s

How much radiation do I get from an x-ray?

It depends on what part of the body is examined. For chest x-rays, the amount of radiation a patient receives is very tiny—only a fraction of the amount of radiation a person gets while walking around in the sunshine over a year. Although still quite small, the dosage may be larger for other types of x-rays. For this reason, you only want to have x-rays if you really need them.

How do I prepare for a standard x-ray?

No patient preparation is needed.

How do I prepare for an Upper GI or swallowing study?

Please do not eat or drink anything on the morning of the examination. Even drinking a small amount of fluid on the morning of the examination is enough to prohibit adequate barium coating of your stomach, making the study of poor quality.

How do I prepare for an IVP?

Please do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the study. If you are allergic to IV contrast (dye), or if you have an otherwise allergic history (including a history of asthma or allergies to several foods or drugs) please contact the facility where your exam is scheduled at least 1 day prior to your study, and ask to talk to a radiology nurse. We may decide to give you medicines the day before your examination to further minimize the small chance of an allergic reaction to the x-ray contrast.

When will my doctor get the test results?

Our radiologists interpret all of your pictures and compare your study with any of your previous examinations. Our typed report is available to your doctor usually within one day.


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