What Is A Timed Barium Esophagogram?
A timed barium esophagogram (TBE) is noninvasive gastric imaging study that utilizes fluoroscopy, a specialty X-ray tool, to assess the lower esophagus and digestive tract. Similar to a traditional barium swallow, a timed barium esophagogram involves the patient swallowing barium, a harmless contrast material. X-ray images are taken of the esophagus at various time intervals after swallowing the contrast material. A timed barium esophagogram can help with the diagnosis of achalasia and other conditions related to the emptying of the esophagus.
What Can I Expect During A Timed Barium Esophagogram?
To begin the study, patients will be instructed to swallow a small cup of barium, a contrast solution. A contrast solution helps highlight the areas of the esophagus so X-rays can capture the most accurate image possible. The barium is artificially flavored and sweetened, but is chalky in texture. Barium is completely harmless to ingest. Once the barium solution is swallowed, the patient will be instructed to stand against a fluoroscopy machine. During various time intervals, X-ray images will be taken of your esophagus and GI tract. The entire process should take about ten minutes. From there, your referring physician and yourself can expect to receive the results within 48 hours.
How Do I Prepare For A Timed Barium Esophagogram?
Prior to your timed barium esophagogram, your physician will ask you to avoid eating or drinking at least 8 hours before the study. Your physician will ask you for the latest version of your medical history that includes prescriptions, supplements, and allergies. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, please inform your referring physician.