Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
An upper gastrointestinal
(GI) series (barium swallow), is a radiological test that is used to visualize the
structures of the upper digestive
system - the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. If it is desired to
see the remaining parts of the small intestine, a small bowel series
can be added to the test. These structures
are seen during the examination, and the images are also are
saved for further review on X-ray film or digital
images. The results of an upper GI series can reveal conditions such as
tumors, hiatal hernias, scarring, blockages, and abnormalities of the muscular
wall of the gastrointestinal tissues.
What are the risks of an upper GI series?
Any x-ray test procedure involves some risk from radiation
exposure. The radiation exposure is minimized by standard techniques
that have been assigned and approved by national and international
radiology committees and councils. Radiology technicians are
certified by national certifying boards.
Patients who are or may be pregnant should notify the requesting
practitioner and radiology staff, as there is potential risk of harm
to the fetus with any radiation exposure.
Standard upper gastrointestinal endoscopes (120 cm flexible tubes with a
light and camera on their tips) are capable of reaching only a foot or so past
the stomach into the small intestine. If abnormaliti"...