Barium Swallow

Picture of a man drinking liquid barium

Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho. All rights reserved.

This person is drinking liquid barium before having a barium swallow study. The radiologist watches a video screen to follow the movement of the barium through the esophagus and to know when to take an X-ray picture.

Current as of: December 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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