Barium swallow

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 5/20/2014 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
So... 12 years after my fundoplication I'm considering a redo. It's a scary thought because I'm feeling reasonably well at the moment. However, I'm increasingly frustrated by having to take medication to mitigate what I consider a mechanical issue: 20mg of rabeprazole daily for the last 7 years; Gaviscon at night, and iron + B12 supplements to manage proven malabsorption issues. It all seems a little ridiculous. Added to this are the necessary lifestyle changes: raised bed; no eating of an evening; no alcohol and, most frustratingly, no running. Out of everything, it's the latter that has caused me to consider a surgical intervention.

Today, I spoke to the surgeon lucky enough to be landed with my considerable medical profile. He suggested an endoscopy (good - whilst I hate the procedure it's sensible to find out what the long term damage is) and a barium swallow 'with provocation'.

'With provocation' is an unsettling phrase and I initially suspected it to be a euphemism for 'we'll test him till the barium issues forth from every orifice'. Further enquiry revealed that it is a normal barium swallow with the added joy of the medical profession fixing you to a medieval contrivance in order to spin you around by the ankles to induce reflux. My question, and yes there is one (and furthermore my thanks if you have managed to stay with me thus far) is, has anyone had the pleasure of this latest medical foray into the fun things you can do to a patient before you attempt to fix them?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 5/20/2014 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Spin you around? I would have thought it was just adding bread or a bolus of something to eat as a test of esophageal motility.

Sounds interesting. Let us know how it goes.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 5/21/2014 2:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gord-on

Sorry to hear that you are still having problems. I had the pleasure of a tilted Barium Swallow recently where they did all the normal tests, then tilted me nearly upside down whilst trying to produce reflux. Fortunately there were handles on the machine, but not a great experience for someone who has positional vertigo.

I'm fairly sure that you will be fine, just expect to be tilted in some various positions - it only lasted a few minutes.

All the best,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1178
   Posted 5/21/2014 2:46 AM (GMT -6)   
When i had mine they had me lie flat, then spin around a few times after swallowing. There was no device as such i just had to spin myself.
GERD, Anxiety, Depression, Rolling Hiatus Hernia, Esophageal Hypersensitivity

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 5/21/2014 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Spinning yourself around sounds even worse! I have a vision of a myself: a middle-aged man attempting break dancing in a hospital room. I shall wait and see. So long, Pink, as it lasts only a few minutes I'm sure I shall manage. Thanks all.
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