Radiology

Radiology procedures allow your child's doctor to view different parts of the digestive system through pictures, including x-rays, MRIs and CT Scans. Some of these procedures require your child to drink a special solution to make those pictures clearer. Most of these are outpatient procedures, and some can be completed without an appointment. You will get a sheet from our office that orders the test, and tells you if making an appointment is necessary.


Barium Swallow

Barium is a chalky liquid used to coat the inside of your child's organs so they show up on an x-ray. Your child will be given a barium solution to drink, and then x-rays will be taken of the organs the doctor is interested in seeing. Barium is not pleasant to drink, but it will not hurt your child, and will leave their digestive system quickly.


Upper GI Test

An upper GI test lets your child's doctor look at the esophagus (the swallowing tube), the stomach and the first section of the small intestine. Your child will drink barium, a chalky liquid used to coat the inside of your child's organs so they show up on an x-ray. X-rays are then taken to let the doctor see your child's organs.


Small Bowel Follow-Through

A small bowel follow-through lets your child's doctor see his or her small intestine using x-rays. Your child will drink barium, a chalky liquid used to coat the inside of your child's organs so they show up on an x-ray. X-rays are then taken to let the doctor see your child's organs.

This test might take an hour or more to complete, as x-rays will be taken as the barium travels through the small intestine.


Upper GI With Small Bowel Follow-Through

This test combines an upper GI test and a small bowel follow-through. Your child will drink barium,a chalky liquid used to coat the inside of your child's organs so they show up on an x-ray. X-rays are then taken to let the doctor see your child's organs.

This test might take an hour or more to complete, as x-rays will be taken as the barium travels through the entire digestive system.


Water-Soluble Contrast Enema

A water-soluble contrast enema can help your child's doctor identify bowel perforations or other problems (including ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) in the bowel or large intestine. A safe, water-soluble solution is inserted into your child's bottom, and allowed to flow into his or her bowel and large intestine. X-ray pictures are taken to see those organs and where the contrast solution flows.


Abdominal Ultrasound, Pelvic Ultrasound, Right Upper Quad Ultrasound, Pyloric Ultrasound

An ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer to take images of blood vessels, tissues and organs. Ultrasounds help your child's doctor view internal organs as they function.

The doctor will apply gel to the area of your child's body being studied, and then a wand is placed on the skin. The wand sends sound waves into the body. The waves bounce off organs and return to the ultrasound machine, producing an image on the monitor. The test does not hurt.


Abdomen CT Scan/Pelvic CT Scan/Head CT Scan/ CT Enterography

A CT scan (CAT scan) uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to show your child's doctor cross-section images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the digestive system. CT scans are more detailed than regular x-rays.

Your child will lie on a bed that moves into a large, donut-shaped machine. Since the machine is noisy and your child might need to lie still with arms over his or her head, your child might be given medicine to help him or her rest or sleep during the scan.


Head MRI, Liver MRI, Lumbar/Sacral MRI, MRI Enterography

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An MRI uses a combination of magnets, radio frequencies and a computer to give the doctor detailed images of organs in your child's body. The test is painless, and does not expose your child to radiation.

Your child will lie on a bed that moves into a large, donut-shaped machine. Since the machine is noisy and your child might need to lie still with arms over his or her head, your child might be given medicine to help him or her rest or sleep during the scan. Metal objects cannot be in the MRI room, so children with pacemakers or metal clips or rods inside the body cannot have this test done.


MRCP (MRI of Pancreas)

An MRCP is a special type of MRI that uses radio waves to take pictures of the bile ducts and internal organs.

Your child will lie on a bed that moves into a large, donut-shaped machine. Since the machine is noisy and your child might need to lie still with arms over his or her head, your child might be given medicine to help him or her rest or sleep during the scan. Metal objects cannot be in the MRI room, so children with pacemakers or metal clips or rods inside the body cannot have this test done.


Gastric Emptying Scan

A gastric emptying scan looks at how long it takes for food to leave your child's stomach and enter the small intestine. If food is taking too long to leave the stomach, this could explain why the child is gagging, throwing up or refusing to eat.

Just before the test, your child will be given a small amount of food with a special solution, called a tracer, added to it. The solution has no taste, and will not hurt your child. After eating x-ray pictures are taken of your child's esophagus and stomach as your child begins to digest the food. Pictures are taken at regular intervals while the food travels through your child's digestive system.


HIDA Scan

A HIDA scan lets your child's doctor look at the function and structure of his or her gallbladder and liver. The liver produces a fluid called bile that that helps your digestive system break down fat in foods. The gallbladder stores and concentrates the bile before it flows into the small intestine.

An IV is used to inject your child with a small amount of a special solution, called a tracer, that is absorbed by normal gallbladder tissue. Then, your child will lie on a table under a scanner machine. Scans will be taken so your child's doctor can see how the liver and gallbladder function.


Meckels Scan

A Meckels scan is done to examine the small intestine specifically to look for a small pocket in the wall of the small intestine, called a Meckels diverticuli. That small pocket is tissue left over from the prenatal development of the digestive system. The tissue can produce acid, which can cause an ulcer to form. The extra tissue can also block the intestine. A Meckels scan lets your child's doctor see if the extra tissue is present, and if it is the cause of any problems.

An IV is used to inject your child with a special substance that can be seen on an x-ray in parts of the body where stomach tissue exists. Then, x-ray pictures of your child will be taken to show where the solution is, and should highlight the Meckels diverticulum if it is there.


DEXA Scan (Bone Density Scan)

A DEXA scan, or bone densitometry, measures the strength and density of your child's bones. It is a simple procedure, and involves your child briefly lying on a table underneath a scanning machine, or standing in front of a scanning machine. Pictures are taken by the machine to show how dense bones are. It does not hurt at all.