A barium swallow is a diagnostic exam that uses x-rays to obtain clear images of the structures in the throat and oesophagus. The test is performed by having the patient drink a chalky liquid that contains barium. The barium coats the walls of the oesophagus and throat, making it visible on an x-ray.
A barium swallow is used to diagnose several conditions, including swallowing disorders, hiatal hernias, and ulcers. The procedure is generally quick, easy, and it does not require any special preparation. However, patients with certain medical conditions may need special precautions before undergoing a barium swallow.
What Conditions Is A Barium Swallow Used To Diagnose?
A barium swallow is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to examine the oesophagus, stomach, and upper section of the small intestine. The test is also called an upper gastrointestinal series or contrast radiography.
A barium swallow may be used to diagnose conditions such as:
In most cases, a barium swallow will be able to provide a doctor with the necessary information required to diagnose your condition and suggest the appropriate treatment accordingly.
Who Needs A Barium Swallow?
Barium swallows are typically recommended for people who display symptoms related to various conditions, including oesophageal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernias, and ulcers.
They can also evaluate symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.
In most cases, a barium swallow can be performed on an outpatient basis. However, if you have certain medical conditions (such as heart or lung disease), you may need to be hospitalised for the procedure. Our doctor will discuss all risks and benefits with you before scheduling the test.
What Is the Recommended Treatment Plan if I Am Diagnosed With Hiatal Hernia or GERD?
If you are diagnosed with hiatal hernia or GERD, our doctor will likely recommend a treatment plan that includes medication and lifestyle changes. Medication such as antacids can help reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, while proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can help block acid production.
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication may be recommended for patients with severe symptoms as a treatment plan for hiatal hernia or GERD.
To understand your financing options and out-of-pocket costs, speak to your insurer, or you may contact our friendly staff via WHATSAPP or call our CLINIC for assistance.
If you are seeking treatment for hiatal hernia or GERD, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to develop an individualised plan that meets your needs.
How Does A Barium Swallow Work?
A barium swallow is a safe and painless procedure that can be used to diagnose problems in your upper GI tract.
You will drink a watered-down solution of barium sulphate during a barium swallow. This liquid will show up on x-rays. The barium coats the inside of your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum, making it easier for our doctor to see these organs on an x-ray.
After you drink the barium sulphate solution, the radiologist will take x-rays of your upper GI tract. You may be asked to stand, sit, and lie down during the procedure so that the radiologist can get different views of your organs. The radiologist will also take x-rays after you have eaten to see how well food is moving through your GI tract.
The entire procedure will be completed within 15 minutes. You will be scheduled for a follow-up session with your doctor to understand the results of your diagnostics following the procedure.
What to Expect With a Barium Swallow?
Inform the clinic if you are taking any long term medication. You may be advised to stop taking them before the procedure.
On the Day
Do not eat or drink anything for at least four hours before the procedure. This includes water, candy, gum, and mints.
Wear comfortable clothing that does not have zippers or belts.
Avoid wearing any jewellery or accessories on the day of the procedure.
Please arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Avoid lying down flat for at least four hours after the procedure.
Follow a low-fibre diet for a few days following the procedure.
Are There Any Side Effects Of A Barium Swallow?
Most people do not experience any side effects from a barium swallow. However, some people may develop constipation or diarrhoea from the barium. If this occurs, it is usually temporary and will resolve independently. Rarely patients may develop an allergic reaction to barium.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Overall, a barium swallow is a safe and effective way to evaluate the digestive tract.
What Are The Risks Of A Barium Swallow?
Although barium swallows are generally safe, some risks are associated with them. The most common complication is constipation, as the barium can harden in the intestines.
Drinking plenty of fluids and getting regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of constipation. The barium may leak from the intestines into the abdomen in rare cases. This can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea.
Contact our doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms after a barium swallow test.
How Much Does a Barium Swallow Cost in Singapore?
The average cost of a barium swallow in Singapore ranges from $250 to $350. The cost of a barium swallow in Singapore varies depending on the facility where you have the procedure done, your eligible subsidies, and insurance. This includes the cost of the procedure, the barium contrast material, and the X-rays.
G & L Surgical Clinic strives to provide transparency with our fees and charges and provide you with the financial counselling necessary to understand the costs involved in getting a barium swallow procedure done in Singapore.
Can I Use My Medisave For A Barium Swallow?
Although the coverage may vary, Medisave may be utilised for a barium swallow procedure. While the amount claimable may differ depending on the withdrawal limits set by the CPF Board, you will be able to use your Medisave for your investigation.
For a detailed cost breakdown and the claimables available for your barium swallow procedure, consider approaching our clinic staff at G&L Surgical Clinic, and we will be glad to assist you further.
Why Choose Us?
G&L Surgical Clinic offers a full range of gastrointestinal (GI) services, including gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and upper GI procedures such as the barium swallow.
We are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of care, and Dr Ganesh at G&L Surgical Clinic is experienced in handling your gastrointestinal concerns.
These are just a few of the reasons why patients choose G&L Surgical Clinic for their barium swallow procedure. When you come to us for care, you can be rest assured that you will receive your treatment in a comfortable and convenient setting.
Dr Ganesh is a patient and friendly doctor. I went to him for a scope as my stomach started feeling bloated all the time and I read that this could be something serious.
Because it’s the first time I am doing a gastroscopy and colonoscopy, I had plenty of questions to ask but I could feel his experience as he went through the do’s and don’ts.
My scope went painless and thanks to the G&L team, I understood that my insurance can be used so the procedure was cashless too.
As it turns out, I had stomach ulcers, which I have suspected for some time but because it was not too serious yet, Dr Ganesh suggests that I can avoid surgery for the time being. I followed his advice and medication and this is now 3 weeks after the scope and I do not have any discomfort.
Thank you Dr Ganesh and the team at G&L Surgical!
Dr Ganesh is one the friendliest doctors that I have spoken with. He’s very friendly and patient and always seems to have a very calm disposure. When I had to see him for scopes, the entire process was smooth and simple. I felt very assured and comforted after my consultation and treatment. The staff are also really nice and attentive, ready to ask if I need any help.
They also gave clear instructions and planned the procedure in detail so I simply had to show on the day of the procedure and everything is ready.
Thank you to Jiaxin, Ann and Angeline for being such lovely angels.
I had a great experience with Dr Ganesh. His explanation of the scope procedure was easy for me and my dad to understand. My dad is in his 60s and couldn’t speak English well. Surprisingly, Dr Ganesh could explain some of the points in Chinese and my Dad was able to understand it. His staff was also on standby throughout the consultation to help us with the translation which I greatly appreciated.
Thanks to his team, my dad had a smooth scope and all is great. Thank you to G&L team!
After hearing many stories, I was so glad that my scope experience is nothing like what I have heard after meeting Dr Ganesh.
He is a nice and friendly indian doctor, explaining in Tamil for me to also understand better because I couldn’t speak English well. I know I made the right choice since he is a caring doctor.
Thank you so much Dr Ganesh. You are awesome.
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Dr. Ganesh Ramalingam
Specialist in General Surgery
As a strong proponent of treating the patient holistically instead of just their condition, Dr Ganesh Ramalingam advises patients as to how they can manage their daily habits and diets to lead healthier lifestyles. As a consultant with G&L Surgical Clinic specialising in General Surgery, he sees many patients with conditions related to the stomach and is skilled in bariatric surgery, upper GI and hernia surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery, endoscopies, and trauma.
G&L Surgical Clinic will do our best to provide you with an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses before your procedure. With a comprehensive financing service, we endeavour to assist you in finding the most suitable financing option to enjoy a seamless and pleasant experience. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We are here to help you get the care you need.