GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Barium meal X-ray. Radiographer conducts a barium meal stomach X-ray on a woman patient in a fluoroscopy suite. The patient lies on a reclining bed after having swallowed a liquid barium meal. The X-ray apparatus is then placed over the patient's abdomen (as seen here). A barium meal is opaque to X-rays and it shows up the structure of the digestive tract. The screen at left reveals a barium X-ray of the curved sac of the stomach. Barium X-rays are used to diagnose the cause of swallowing difficulty, check for inflammation of the oesophagus or stomach, detect stomach ulcers and bleeding, and reveal disorders in other parts of the bowel.
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