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Doctor insights on: Barium Swallow Health Risks

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What negative health consequences are associated with a barium swallow. Is it dangerous?

What negative health consequences are associated with a barium swallow. Is it dangerous?

Very safe: Only a small amount of radiation is used during the exam. The barium is a white liquid that will pass unchanged through the intestinal tract. Only real problems occur in people who can't swallow much of anything without choking or have a hole in the side (perforation) of their esophagus. These are uncommon problems that your doctor would know about. ...Read more

Barium (Definition)

Barium is a chemical element with symbol ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Because of its high chemical reactivity barium is never found in nature as a free element. Its hydroxide was known in pre-modern history as baryta; this substance does not occur as a mineral, but can be prepared ...Read more


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Is barium swallow a very common procedure?

Barium swallow tests: There are a variety of ways a barium swallow test can be conducted. The most common is simply having the patient swallow oral contrast while the radiologist watches the passage of barium down the esophagus. Sometimes different textures of barium are tested to see how each moves from the mouth to the esophagus and down. A modified barium swallow with speech therapist helps assess for aspiration. ...Read more

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What happens during a modified barium swallow?

What happens during a modified barium swallow?

Nothing too exciting: We can't take pictures of your GI tract very well, so as a substitute you swallow dense material (barium) which coats your tract and they take pictures, as it goes down or after it goes down, to look for structural abnormalities. Basically you swallow a few gulps, turn a few different positions, maneuver in a few different ways for the camera. It's pretty harmless. ...Read more

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How common is it for someone to need a barium swallow?

Not uncommon: It is a common test in children with neurologic issues, prematurity, and palate deficiencies to make sure can ingest materials safely without aspiration. Aspiration can lead to lung disease.. It is certainly used in adults for stroke victims and their rehabilitation. Patients surving trauma to head with significant brain damage need swallows to also assess safe ingestion of liquids and food. ...Read more

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Can the error do a barium swallow test if I have eaten?

Yes, but: The best picture and most accurate result would be on an empty stomach. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: barium swallow?

What is the definition or description of: barium swallow?

Ingesting barium: Modified barium swallow is usually imaging fluoroscopically of patient ingesting various textures from ultrathin, thin , nectar etc. to pudding and solid consistencies of barium looking for normal oral pharyngeal function and signs of aspiration. In some caaes study is performed in conjunction with speech pathologist ...Read more

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What requires immediate help after having a modified barium swallow?

Not much: The amount that is aspirated is small because it is being observed with fluoroscopy. The feeding is stopped and the thickness of the ingested barium is increased until find right consistency that prevents aspiration. if patient has excessive secretions, the room in which exam is performed is equipped with suction and oxygen.Patient is encouraged to drink fluids so barium does not constipate. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a barium swallow and a modified barium swallow?

Area of interest: The terms are often interchanged though do have differences in medical billing and exact procedure type. A barium swallow is often synonymous with an esophagram to look at the whole of the esophagus. A 'modified barium swallow' is usually performed in conjunction with a Speech Pathologist and is specifically looking at the swallowing mechanism of the mouth and oral phaynx to the upper esophagus. ...Read more

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Please tell me the difference between barium swallow and modified barium swallow?

Aspiration or not: Barium swallow is another name for an esophagram, which evaluates the esophagus for difficulties of food passing though. Modified barium swallow is done to determine whether someone can swallow certain different textures of food without aspirating on them (aka whether they can keep them out of their lungs). ...Read more