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Upper Gastrointestinal Series (UGI)
 
 
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Preparation for Scan

Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your x-ray procedure. Our physicians and technologists are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your test. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for your diagnostic test.

There are several locations where you can have your x-ray procedure. At the MMC Main Campus it is located on the 3rd floor of the main building. At the Lee Campus the X-ray department is on the 1st floor.

Click here to view a list of all X-ray locations within the Conemaugh Health System

We want to make the experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7 and 4:30 PM

Before the Scan

You or your physician’s office may schedule the date and time of your appointment with Central Scheduling. They will instruct you on any special preparations or medications you need and what time to arrive at the hospital. If you can’t remember when you are scheduled or the preparation involved please call your physician or the Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at (814) 410-8470. 

You will be exposed to a low amount of radiation from the x-ray. If you are pregnant or think you might be, or if you are breast-feeding, tell the doctor and technologist before your test.

Please inform the physician if you are allergic to iodine or contrast media, if you are diabetic or are taking diabetic medications like Glucophage, Metformin, or Glucovance. Special preparation may be needed before your scan.

You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight. Do not chew gum or smoke. If instructed to take your routine medication by the physician or scheduler, please take them only with a small sip of water. If diabetic, check with your physician for instructions on your diabetic medications.

If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat or flu-like symptoms; or if you come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable diseases, within 2 weeks prior to your scan, please call your physician. It may be necessary to reschedule your scan for a time when you are feeling better.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your scan for any reason please call at least 24 hours before your appointment.

The Day of your Scan

Wear loose-fitting, clean, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. You may want to bring reading material or something else to do while you are waiting between parts of the test. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time.

Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having any procedures.

Please bring any order that your physicians office provided for you. If you were not contacted by pre-certification please bring your identification and insurance cards.

Please bring a list of your medicines and allergies.

Parking is available in the parking lots outside of the buildings. At the Main campus you can park in the garage on Franklin Street or use the valet at the Main Entrance on Franklin Street. Please bring your parking ticket with you to receive a token for free parking in the garage. At the Lee Campus you can park in the garage on Walnut Street.  Please remember to bring your ticket with you to receive a rebate ticket for free parking in the garage.  You will need to take both tickets back to the garage on the first floor.  First you will need to put your parking ticket in the machine and then the rebate ticket.  You will be given another ticket to exit the garage.  

When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Outpatient Registration desk.  At the Main Campus it is to the left in the main lobby on the first floor.  If you are going to the Lee Campus the Outpatient Registration Desk is in the main Lobby. You will be registered and then escorted to the Radiology department waiting area. Once there you will sign in at the reception desk.  If you were pre-registered you can go directly to the radiology department.  

Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.

The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, birth date, what procedure you are having done, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.

During the Scan

You will be asked to go to a dressing room and change into a gown. Lockers are available for your clothing. You may be asked to remove any jewelry or metal that can interfere with the body part being imaged.

You will be escorted into the x-ray room. The people around you in the room will be preparing for your procedure. The technologist will explain everything that is happening. Please let the technologist know if you are pregnant or think you may be.

You will be assisted to lie on a table or stand in front of the x-ray machine. The part of your body being imaged needs to be between the x-ray tube and the photographic plate. You will be given a lead apron to drape over part of your body to shield it from x-rays. At times you may need to take a deep breath and hold it. You will need to keep still so the image isn’t blurred. The x-ray itself is painless. Each photographic image generally takes a few seconds. The image is usually transferred to a computer where it can be studied or printed out. The technologist will take at least one preliminary x-ray.

You will then be given a cup of a cold fruit flavored liquid called barium solution to drink. This is a contrast medium. It may cause a warm feeling throughout your body. If you’ve had a reaction to contrast media before, or you begin to itch, are short of breath, feel pain or discomfort tell your X-ray tech immediately. You will be asked to drink this in various positions on the x-ray table.

As you drink the solution and it passes through your upper digestive tract, the Radiologist or Radiologist Assistant will observe the procedure through fluoroscopy. A continuous or pulsed x-ray beam is controlled by a switch. When this beams strikes the photographic plate it creates a sequence of images that are projected onto a television-like monitor. This enables the Radiologist to see the area in motion. The Radiologist performs the initial fluoroscopy and monitors all of the post imaging performed by the technologist. The exposure to x-rays may be a little higher than a normal x-ray. The Radiologists and technologists are trained to deliver dosages that are not harmful and that are within strictly established guidelines.

The x-ray table will tilt up and down between x-rays, and you will be asked to roll your body into different positions. This helps the barium liquid coat all of your organs, so that the doctor can get a better view. A technologist will help you get into different positions. You will be made as comfortable as possible during the exam. Another series of x-rays will be taken.

The test may take one hour. If scheduled with the small bowel series or follow through it may take several hours.

Once the technologist has all the images the physician requires your test is complete.

After the Scan

When your scan is over, the technologist will help you off the table. You can get dressed and go home.

If you had a change in diet before the scan, you may resume your normal diet. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids for several days unless otherwise contraindicated. Your stool may be light or white with barium for several days. If you become constipated or haven’t had a bowel movement in three days make sure you speak to the physician that ordered the test. Check with your physician on when you can resume your medications especially any diabetic medications you may be on.

A doctor who is a radiologist will study your scans and report the results to your doctor. Your doctor will generally discuss the results with you at your next physician’s office visit. Talk with your doctor or testing center about how to get your test results.

If your testing was ordered STAT by your physician, a preliminary report will be phoned or faxed to them shortly after the completion of your test.


Thank-you for allowing us to take care of you during your radiology exam.