100 Questions and Answers about Esophageal Cancer
by Pamela K. Ginex; Maureen Jingeleski; Manjit S. Bains; Bart L. Frazzitta
Q: What is a barium swallow?
A: A barium swallow is test using X-Rays and barium sulphate to look at the back of the mouth and throat and the esophagus. Barium is mixed with water to make a chalky milkshake like drink. When swallowed, barium coats the inside walls of the mouth, throat and esophagus and makes it easier for the mouth, throat and esophagus to be seen on X-Ray film. The doctor can better assess the swallowing motion and the size and shape of these organs.