What is a small bowel follow through?
A small bowel follow-through is a type of x-ray that looks at the small intestine. Your child will be asked to drink barium, a thick chalky liquid that is used to coat the lining of the small intestine. The barium shows up white on x-ray film, marking areas of inflammation. The entire test can take up to 2 hours.
Can my child eat or drink before the test?
Your child must adhere to the following instructions:
- Nothing to eat after midnight the day prior to the test
- Children age 0 to 1 year of age: nothing to drink 4 hours prior to the test
- Children age 1 to 3 years of age: nothing to drink 6 hours prior to the test
- Children age 3 to 15 years of age: nothing to drink after midnight the day prior to the test
What will happen before the test?
- Your child will be asked to remove their cloths and put on a hospital gown
- You and your child will be taken into an x-ray room where you will see a TV screen and a table with a big camera
- The test will begin with either your child standing up against the table or lying down on it, depending on your age.
- Parents can stay with their child during the test.
What will happen during the test?
- The radiologist will give your child a paper cup of barium. We can make this chocolate or strawberry
- The doctor will ask your child to turn over so your best side can be photographed.
- Your child will be asked to drink more barium and x-rays will be taken every half hour until your complete digestive system has been outlined
What happens after the test?
After the test, your child will be instructed to drink lots of fluids and go back to their normal diet unless otherwise instructed by their healthcare provider.
Remember – the barium will temporarily change the colour of your child’s stool. Have your child drink lots of fluids until the barium passes
- Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to study.
- Nothing by mouth after mid
LHSC – Preparing for your test
REMINDER: This information is intended to provide general information and should not be used to base a diagnosis or treatment. Please consult the doctors about your specific condition and the approach for treatment.