Esophagram (1435)

Key points below

The part of the body that carries food from the mouth to the stomach is called the esophagus.  It is often called the food tube.  An esophagram is an X-ray of the food tube.

Your child’s Esophagram is scheduled for (date) _________________   at  (time) _______________ in the Imaging (Radiology) Department on the first floor of Children’s Wisconsin Hospital. 

Please stop at a Welcome desk for a badge and directions to Imaging.

Special preparation

No prep is needed for this exam. 

Before the x-ray

When you come to Imaging someone will greet you.  Your child will put on a hospital gown and robe.  You and your child will wait in the waiting area.  A person skilled in taking X-rays, called a technologist, will talk with you and your child about the test. Please be sure to ask any questions you have. 

How the test is done

Your child will drink thick flavored liquid called barium.  A large camera will take x-rays of your child as they drink the barium.  The camera can see the barium inside the esophagus. 

A doctor who specializes in taking and reading x-rays will watch the picture on a TV screen. This doctor is called a radiologist.  The test will not hurt your child.  Most often, the test takes about 30 minutes.  When it is done, the doctor will check the x-rays while you wait.

Parents:  If you wish to stay with your child during the test, you must meet the safety guidelines.  Also, you must not have other children with you and must not be pregnant.

Follow-up care


The radiologist looks at all films at the end of each test.  A report is sent to your child’s doctor.  The radiologist may need to contact your child’s doctor before you leave the hospital.  The doctor will discuss the results with you.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • A hard time pooping. This is called constipated.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.