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UR Medicine

UR Medicine / Imaging / Specialties / Exams / Gastrointestinal (GI) Procedure


Gastrointestinal (GI) Procedure

Call for general questions, to reschedule an exam, or to request directions.

(585) 784-2985

GI procedures are performed on patients 19 years of age and older.

Common GI Imaging Studies

  • Barium Enema (Lower GI Series): This diagnoses disorders of the large intestine, colon and rectum. It involves filling the large intestine with barium liquid while x-ray images are taken. The barium will be given to you through a tube while the x-rays are taken.
  • Enteroclysis (Small Bowel Study): This procedure evaluates disorders of the small bowel. It involves filling the small bowel with barium liquid via a nasal tube which extends into the small bowel while x-ray images are taken.
  • Esophogram (Barium Swallow): This identifies any abnormalities such as tumors, ulcers, hernias, pockets, narrowing and swallowing difficulties. This is an examination of the esophagus and stomach using barium to coat the walls of the upper digestive tract so it may be examined under x-ray. A barium "milkshake" will be provided to drink before the procedure.
  • Upper GI Series: This uses x-rays to diagnose the upper GI tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. A barium "milkshake" will be provided to drink prior to the procedure. You will be asked to move from one position to another throughout the procedure.
  • Small Bowel Follow Through: This exam diagnoses disorders of the small intestine. A barium "milkshake" will be provided to drink before the procedure. Images are taken over time until the barium reaches the end of the small intestine. This exam can take up to 4 hours.

Appointment Information

You may receive a call from us to review your medical history to determine that no issues exist preventing you from having
a GI procedure. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please provide 24 hours notice.

We ask that you call at least 3 days ahead if either of the following pertain to you so we may make the appropriate
modifications to your treatment plan:

  • If you believe you may be pregnant.
  • If you have had a contrast allergy/reaction (i.e., hives, rash, itching, breathing difficulty) while undergoing a previous imaging study.

Preparation Instructions

Barium Enema and Enteroclysis Patients

The purpose of the preparation is to cleanse the bowel. The day before your appointment, follow these dietary instructions:

  • Breakfast — eat a normal diet.
  • Lunch — drink clear liquids only (black tea, black coffee, jello, clear broth, carbonated drinks, apple, grape or cranberry juices).
  • Between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., drink 10 oz. of magnesium citrate.
  • Supper — drink only clear liquids.
  • Between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (or 6 hours after drinking magnesium citrate) — drink 10 oz. of clear liquid.
  • You may continue to drink clear liquids as desired, up until 4 hours before your procedure time.
  • Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Medications may be taken 2–4 hours prior to your appointment.

Preparation for Esophograms

There are no preparatory instructions required for patients undergoing Esophograms.

Preparation for Upper GI Series and Small Bowl Follow Throughs

Do not eat or drink after midnight the evening prior to your procedure. Also, please do not smoke or chew gum after midnight. This is necessary for an empty and relaxed stomach.

Diabetics:  If you are diabetic, please check with your primary care physician for specific medication and other preparatory instructions.

Instructions for the Day of Your Procedure

  • Please arrive on time. Allow extra time in your trip for weather, traffic and parking.
  • Leave valuables at home.
  • Bring your insurance card and photo ID.
  • All parents/guardians having an imaging study must be aware that there is no supervision available for children. Please do not have children accompany you to your appointment.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

  • You will be provided with post-procedure instructions.
  • Your procedure results will be sent to your referring physician within 2 business days. Please contact your physician.
  • If you have a MyChart account, your results will be posted in 14 days.

Suggestion: When the examination is over, drink plenty of fluids. If you are constipated, a mild laxative will help you get rid of the barium. If you have any concerns in this regard, consult your referring physician.


Gastrointestinal (GI) procedures are performed at the following locations:

  • Auburn Community Hospital
  • East River Road
  • Golisano Children's Hospital
  • Highland Hospital
  • Noyes Memorial Hospital