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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) when prescribed by a physician*.

If your health care professional has requested this test or you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 1 833 590-2715.