Childr Health Information

Upper Gastrointestinal Series (UGI) / Small Bowel Follow Through (SBFT)

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Topic: Tests & Procedures

Welcome to Dayton Children’s. Your child is going to have an UGI and possibly a SBFT. It is very important for both you and your child to be prepared for the procedure. Being prepared will help you get your child ready for the test and support him/her through it. The information in this handout describes the UGI and SBFT. It is designed to answer your questions and help you explain the test to your child. This information does not replace information given to you by your physician or other members of your child’s health care team.

What is an UGI and SBFT?
An UGI and SBFT is a test to look at the throat, stomach, and small bowel.

What happens during an UGI and SBFT?
Your child will be given a liquid mixed with barium, which may be flavored. The barium appears white when an x-ray picture is taken. It coats the throat, stomach and bowel making them show up better on the x-ray picture. While your child is drinking the barium, the x-ray doctor (radiologist) watches on a special x-ray television. Some children’s stomachs empty faster than others; therefore, the length of this test varies. If your doctor ordered a SBFT (small bowel follow through), the barium must go all the way through the small bowel. X-rays are taken at timed intervals to watch as this is happening to check the small bowel. It may take an additional one to three hours. When barium moves slowly, the test may take even longer.

What will my child feel during the UGI and SBFT?
Your child will not feel the x-ray camera taking pictures. This test does not cause pain. Your child may not like the taste of the liquid or food.

How can I help prepare my child for the UGI and SBFT?
When and how to prepare your child for an UGI and SBFT depends on his/her age. For infants, no preparation is necessary, as long as you understand the procedure. Toddlers require very simple preparation and explanation just before the procedure begins. Older children require more detailed information in advance. Adolescents should be prepared far enough in advance to give them time to ask questions. When you arrive for your appointment, a staff member will discuss the procedure in an age appropriate way with your child. They will address any concerns that you or your child may have. Our goal is to decrease your child’s anxiety and make this a positive experience. Your child will be in the room about 30 minutes.

How can I help my child during the UGI and SBFT?
Many times the mere presence of a parent or caregiver is enough to soothe a child. If your child has a special toy or blanket that provides a sense of security to them, please bring the item with you. Two parents are welcome in the room while we explain, discuss and perform the test. Other family members and pregnant women will be asked to wait in our waiting room. Many children benefit from distraction. Please bring toys or books for your child to help pass the time since the test may extend over several hours (SBFT).

What happens after the UGI and SBFT?
1) Give your child lots to drink today (water and juices are best).
2) Your child may have regular foods after the test is completed.
3) Your child’s bowel movements may be chalky white today and tomorrow. This is normal.

A report will be sent to your referring doctor, usually within a week. For further questions about this test, please call Dayton Children’s Medical Imaging Department: 937-641-3888 or 1-800-228-4055.

PDF: Child Health Information - Upper Gastrointestinal Series (UGI) / Small Bowel Follow Through (SBFT)

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 2005

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 2005


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