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barium xray test, should i worry ?

Hi, iv had a lot of tests done recently as I have had a lot of upper right abdominal pain just below my ribcage. I have also lost nearly 3 stone in weight without any diet or changes to my food.
Today I have had a follow through barium x ray test done. i was given this awful drink and was being x rayed every 20 minutes, a few other people were having the same test as me and they were told they could go home after an hour or so. However, with me, I was given more xrays and then a nurse asked me to wait as she needed to speak to a doctor. She came back after a while and asked me to go with her to have a different screening test done by a doctor. I was so worried and asked why i need to do that, she said she cant discuss it with me but that i need to have this done.
I followed her down the corridoor and got to this room where there was a team of people waiting for me.This doctor in the room said he needed to do this test to check something, he took me over to this upright bed type thing and said to lay my body against it as it would lift me up into a laying down position. There was a big screen on the wall which appeared to have the image of my stomach on it. He then instructed the other xray person to start taking images. He then stood next to me with a big leather looking glove on and he placed it on my stomach and another image was taken with his gloved hand on the image of my stomach. im so confused, why would he have his hand in the picture taken, and why was i given this extra test when no one else was asked to do the same. Does anyone know what this stand up lie down machine was please. Im so worried as the doctor said i would hear from my consultant very soon. can anyone advise me please. thanks
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replied February 7th, 2011
Hello and thank you for posting your medical question on E health Forum. I am glad I can help you here.

A barium swallow is a test that may be used to determine the cause of painful swallowing, difficulty with swallowing, abdominal pain, bloodstained vomit, or unexplained weight loss.

here is a short description of the barium swallow and follow through test.

A patient is usually given about 1 1/2 cups of a barium preparation which is a radiopaque compound enabling the GI tract to be visualized on the Xray.

The barium swallow procedure may take about 30 minutes to finish. In certain cases, it may take up to 60 minutes or more to fill the stomach.

The patient will be strapped securely on the back to a table that tilts forward. X-rays to examine the heart, lungs, and abdomen will be taken as the barium moves through the digestive system.
As the barium moves down the digestive system, the table will be tilted at various angles to help spread the barium for different views.

Pressure may be applied to the abdomen to spread the barium. Finally, the patient is placed horizontally, and x-rayed again. (The pressure applied is what the person did with the glove on your belly. Also his hands would not appear on the Xray as the gloves were radioopaque)

The other patients probably did have a barium swallow study, but you had a follow through study in addition to the barium swallow study, which in addition to the fore-gut also visualizes the intestines.

You may consider to consult your physician or a gastroenterologist for a detailed clarification about the procedure.

I hope you find this helpful.

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