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Digestive radiology – DC barium meal

The DC barium meal dynamic radiology examination, under fluoroscopy, explores the inside of your stomach using two contrast agents: barium (a thick white liquid) and carbon dioxide gas (effervescent granules) that you take orally at the start of the procedure.

A barium meal is usually ordered if you suffer from:

  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Diarrhea with weight loss

Examination procedure

For this procedure, you must:

  • Wear a hospital gown and remove your jewelry and any metal object that might adversely affect image quality
  • Drink a small amount of barium and swallow effervescent granules

A few static X-rays will be taken. The examination takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Preparing for the Examination (for adults)

To properly prepare for the examination, please follow the procedure below:

  • If your appointment is in the morning, no solid food should be eaten after 8:00 p.m. the evening before the exam. However, you may drink water until midnight. If your appointment is in the afternoon, you must adhere to an 8 hour fast.
  • On the day of the examination, you should be fasting. You should not smoke or chew gum.
  • If you need to take any medicine, it should be taken after your test.

A medical prescription is required to perform this examination.

The costs of this examination are covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

If your healthcare professional has prescribed this examination or if you have any questions, contact us at 1 833 590-2715.