Barium Swallow

A barium swallow is a test which is done to look at the oesophagus, not for function but for anatomy , looking to see if there are any areas of narrowing (or strictures as they are called), and this is very helpful in children who are having swallowing difficulties. It is also helpful in looking for hiatus hernia but doesn't tell us anything really about any inflammatory problem in the oesophagus, nor does it really tell us much about the actual function of the oesophagus and isn't useful for diagnosing reflux. It involves swallowing the barium which shows up by x-ray, and is usually mixed with some fluid.

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