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Depending on your condition or injury, your doctor may order one of these tests to confirm a diagnosis:
Also called a lower GI (gastrointestinal) exam, a barium enema is an X-ray of the large intestine including the colon and rectum. The test is used to help diagnose diseases and problems in the large intestine. To make the intestine visible on the X-ray, a tube is used to fill the colon with a contrast material containing barium. The barium blocks X-rays, causing the barium-filled colon to show up clearly on the X-ray.
An X-ray of the bladder. This test shows the bladder's position and shape and may be performed after a pelvic injury to ensure the bladder has not torn. Cystograms are also used to detect polyps or tumors, or to diagnose a condition called reflux (where urine flows in reverse, from the bladder to the kidneys, which can cause repeated and painful urinary tract infections).
A CT of the small bowel. The test begins in the X-ray department, where a technologist will insert a tube into your nose or mouth that runs down into your stomach. A special dye (usually barium) is put through the tube an images are taken in real time as the mixture moves through the digestive system.
Also known as a barium swallow, this test is usually ordered to examine symptoms of painful or difficult swallowing. During the test, you will drink a barium sulfate compound while sitting in front of an X-ray machine. This allows the radiologist to study the function of the esophagus as you swallow.
During this procedure, also called a spinal tap, your doctor will collect and examine the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. A spinal tap may be performed to confirm an infection or to monitor pressure in the brain and spinal cord.
This test is similar to an esophagram, and you will be asked to eat foods with different textures that have been coated with barium. MBSS are often ordered to closely examine specific swallowing problems. A Speech Language Pathologist will also be present during this test to analyze the results and help provide an accurate diagnosis.
An X-ray that uses special dye to closely examine parts of the spine. This test is performed to find tumors, infections, a herniated disc or to pinpoint symptoms of arthritis-related conditions. During the test, dye is injected with a small needle into areas of the spinal canal so nerve roots and the spinal cord stand out on the image. Your physician may order images before and after the dye is injected, and may also order a CT after the X-ray while the dye is still in your body.
This test is performed to evaluate symptoms of abdominal pain or diarrhea. You will be given a barium compound to drink and asked to wait while it moves through to the small bowel (small intestine). The length of the exam depends on how long it takes for the barium to move through your body - which can take four or more hours.
Also called an upper GI exam, this test is an X-ray of the small intestine including the path from the mouth to the stomach. You will be given a mixture of barium to drink before the test to help your physician evaluate digestive functions and diagnose any related medical conditions.
Similar to a cystogram, this test is frequently done to diagnose the cause of urinary tract infections, particularly in patients with repeated infections. The test also evaluates abnormal bladder emptying, problems with the bladder or urethra, and potential urethral strictures (in men).
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