A barium swallow test is used to find out why an individual has pain or difficulty with swallowing; it is also administered for symptoms such as bloodstained vomit, pain in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss. The test involves conducting a series of X-rays of the stomach, duodenum, and esophagus, after the person has drunk a barium solution. With these X-rays doctors are able to track the path of the barium solution. Thus, barium sulfate, which is a metallic compound, is used to help see any abnormalities or problems in the upper gastrointestinal track.
A barium swallow test is generally safe, but barium swallow test complications may sometimes occur just as they might do in any other procedure. If you do have any problems, it best that you see your doctor as he can treat you right away. Here are a few barium swallow complications that might occur as a result of the test:
It should be noted that barium swallow test risks are high in the case of pregnant women as there is a small radiation dose given during the procedure. Therefore, to avoid any barium swallow test complications, pregnant women should not opt for this procedure. Most of the barium swallow test side effects and barium swallow test complications will be explained by your doctor prior to the test being done. However, keep in mind that these tests mainly rely on X-ray images, and as a result, a number of details can be missed, particularly in the case of mild abnormalities or flat lesions. You may therefore need an endoscopic procedure so that the walls can be directly visualized or a tissue sample can be taken for biopsy.More articles from the Medical Tests Category