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Doctor insights on: Modified Barium Swallow

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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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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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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

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If I take a modified barium swallow exam do I also need to a barium swallow exam? Does modified barium swallow exam covers both?

A modified barium: swallow evaluates the swallowing mechanism, pharynx, hypopharynx, and upper esophagus. A standard barium swallow evaluates the whole esophagus but does not provide a detailed evaluation of swallowing, so they are different exams. If you need both, the exams could potentially be combined into one visit. Just because you are having a modified doesn't mean you need the standard, though. ...Read more

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Had a modified barium swallow. Results were explained as I sat in the chair. How do I know if the tech turned off the machine?

Usually is not issue: In order for fluoroscopy to be engaged,either foot or hand switch has to be turned on. Record is kept of amount of radiation produced by fluoroscopy during each study.This always can be requested by patient and usually is included in radiology report.Most digital machines maintain last image hold and no additional radiation is expended. Images are copies of last image and not additional radiation. ...Read more

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Does an esophagram check for narrowing and strictures?What is the difference between an esophagram and a modified barium swallow?

Does an esophagram check for narrowing and strictures?What is the difference between an esophagram and a modified barium swallow?

Yes: Modified study assess upper swallowing problems, done by radiologist and speech pathologist to look for aspiration and swallowing muscles problems. Esophogram assess for stricture and narrowing , done by radiologist. ...Read more

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Modified barium swallow. Scared to eat the food haven't ate solids in 4 weeks. Do I have to eat the food? Are they prepared for an emergency?

Modified barium swallow. Scared to eat the food haven't ate solids in 4 weeks. Do I have to eat the food? Are they prepared for an emergency?

Yes: They will be prepared for emergencies, they probably do this test every day on all types of patients. You should try to eat the foods, otherwise the test might not provide the answers your doctor needs. Don't worry, they will start off with small amounts, and then vary it as you are able to tolerate. ...Read more

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Modified barium swallow SLP said all food went down but esophagus wasn't closing all the way and looked like an air bubble was there? What does mean?

Barium swallow: Limited details given, but it is normal to see air bubbles during the barium swallow. The only place the esophagus needs to close all the way is at the lower esophageal sphincter at the entrance to the stomch. If it is not closing normally, it may mean you are prone to gastroesophageal reflux. ...Read more