Lauren A Poliakin MD, FACS, DABOM


2750 Sycamore Drive, Ste 210
 Simi Valley, CA 93065

HCA Healthcare Magazine


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Upper Gastrointestinal Series

The upper gastrointestinal series, or GI series, is a diagnostic set of X-rays taken to detect abnormalities of the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

An upper gastrointestinal series can help determine the cause of symptoms that may include the following:

  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • GERD
  • Weight loss

Before an upper GI series is performed, the patient will need to fast for 8 hours prior to the procedure. The patient should receive an instruction list when scheduling the procedure. The patient will drink a liquid containing barium. This liquid will travel through the gastrointestinal tract, making the organs easier to see on an X-ray. A video, known as a fluoroscopy, is used to view the flow of the barium liquid as it moves through the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Several X-ray pictures are taken as the substance moves through the tract, allowing the doctor to identify some of the following conditions:

  • Ulcer
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Diverticula
  • Varices of the esophagus
  • Abnormal growths

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