Upper GI gastrointestinal xrays (1440)

Key points below

An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) is a test that uses x-rays to look at the esophagus and the stomach. The esophagus is the tube that carries food and drink from the mouth to the stomach. The test also includes the first part of the intestine that carries the food out of the stomach. This test helps to see how well these organs are working.

Your child’s Upper GI X-ray is scheduled for (date) __________ at (time) ___________ in the Imaging (Radiology) Department at Children’s Wisconsin Hospital.  

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

Special preparation

0 to 6 months old.  Nothing to eat or drink 3 hours before the test.

7 months to 3 years old.  Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the test.

4 years and older. Nothing to eat or drink 6 hours before the test. 

Important information

Before the x-rayenema

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 x-ray is done

The test will not hurt your child.  Most often it 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.  For example, you cannot have other children with you and you must not be pregnant.

Follow-up care


The radiologist looks at all films at the end of the 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.  Your 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 (constipated).
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.