How to Prepare for an Upper GI X-ray

You must fast for 8 hours prior to your exam.

You should inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

Women should always inform their doctor or X-ray technician if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an X-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.

Learn More About Pregnancy & X-rays

To ensure the best possible image quality, your stomach must be empty of food. Therefore, you will likely be asked not to eat or drink anything (including any medications taken by mouth, especially antacids) and to refrain from chewing gum and smoking after midnight on the day of the examination.

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the X-ray images.