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Barium X-ray

Definition

A barium X-ray is helpful to diagnose diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon).

Description

X-rays are a form of invisible electromagnetic energy of short wavelength (radiation) that is produced when high-speed electrons strike a heavy metal. X-rays can be used to produce images of bones, organs, and internal tissues. Low doses of X-rays are passed through the tissues and cast images - essentially shadows - onto film or a fluorescent screen showing structural changes in the area being examined.

Questions

How will a barium X-ray help?

What are the risks?

Is there any special preparation before the examination?

Is the examination painful?

How long does the procedure take?

Will I have whitish-colored stools due to the barium?