X-ray Tests

Barium Swallow

A barium swallow is a special x-ray. You will be asked to drink a white dye called barium, and x-rays will be taken whilst you are swallowing the dye. The barium swallow x-rays can give important information about the activity (called motility) of the muscles in the wall of your oesophagus (gullet). Also, the x-rays can show structural problems like hiatus hernia or stricture (narrowing). The barium x-rays can be a very useful road map for planning an operation on the oesophagus and stomach.

Endoscopy and Barium Swallow give complementary information. Each has its strengths and limitations. Generally, endoscopy is better to examine the inner lining of your oesophagus (gullet) and stomach, whereas barium swallow gives a better overall picture of the structure. Depending on your individual problem, you may need to have only an endoscopy or barium swallow or both.

CT Scan

CT scans are also called Computed Tomography scans or CAT scans. A CT scan uses x-rays and computer software to create detailed images of the inside of the body.

Ultrasound Scan

An ultrasound scan, also called a sonogram, is a test that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of a part of the inside of the body. A gel is applied to your skin and the ultrasound probe is moved over the required part of your body.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Endoscopic Ultrasound or EUS is a type of endoscopy. A special endoscope that has an ultrasound probe on its tip is used. Ultrasound images are obtained from the inside of the food-pipe and stomach.


MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses strong magnetic fields and radiowaves to create detailed images of the inside of the body.

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