Preparing for Your Visit:
UW-Health Digestive Health Swallowing Disorders Clinic
To help you get ready for your visit, the staff of the Digestive Health Center has made this
handout for you about:
ξ Where to go for your visit.
ξ Preparing ahead of time for your visit.
ξ What you can expect on the day of your visit.
We have a team of specialists who work together and take the time to listen and understand your
health problems and concerns. We tailor the care you receive for your personal health care needs.
You can trust our specialists to offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.
ξ Following these instructions will help you get the most out of your visit with us.
ξ If you have any questions, please call us at the Digestive Health Center at 608-890-5000.
You can also find more information at www.uwhealth.org/digestivehealth
It is important to read this paper right away.
There are some things that you need to do to
7 days before your visit
Where to Go for Your Visit
Please follow the instructions below.
If you are going to be late, please call to let us know at (608) 890-5000. We do our best to stay on time.
Please note: We may have to schedule your visit for another day, if you’re over 15 minutes late.
You are scheduled for your appointment at UW Health Digestive Health Center - 750
University Row, Madison, WI.
UW Health Digestive Health Center
Registration is near the doors as you come in.
You may park for free in front of the Digestive Health Center. You turn onto University Row from
University Avenue. See the map below or visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/digestivehealth
Please note: Our doors are locked before 6:45 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m.
If you have any questions, please call us at the Digestive Health Center.
Our hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Call (608) 890-5000 or toll free at 1-855-342-9900 and press option “3” for receptionist.
Preparing For Your Appointment
It is important that you are able to swallow safely until your visit. We want you to do the
following things to make sure that you are swallowing safely.
ξ Careful swallowing: Chew your food more slowly and thoroughly than normal
ξ Adjusted eating: Eat smaller meals more often and do not eat 2 hours before bedtime
ξ Try foods with different textures to see if certain ones cause you more problems. Thin
liquids, such as coffee and juice can be a problem for some people. Dry or sticky foods,
such as peanut butter or bread, can make it hard to swallow
ξ Special liquid diets: This may help you stay at a healthy weight and avoid dehydration.
You can try liquid diets such as smoothies, Ensure®, Boost®, or Carnation Instant
ξ Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. These can make reflux worse
ξ Over-the-counter acid suppressing medicines and antacids may give some relief
Steps to Prepare Ahead of Time
ξ Fill out the Questionnaire & Medical Intake Form included in this packet. Please
bring these forms with you to your appointment.
ξ Make a list of all medicines, vitamins and supplements that you’re taking.
ξ Write down questions to ask your doctor.
If you are scheduled for a procedure on the day of your visit you may be asked to stop taking
some of your medicines. Before starting or stopping any medicine, please talk with your
doctor who prescribes your medicine. Follow your procedure instructions and call us if you
have any questions.
Day of Your Appointment
To make sure that we do all of the necessary tests and services on the day of your visit, we
ask that you stop eating and drinking 4 hours before your appointment.
1. No solid food, milk, or dairy products until after your visit.
2. You may drink clear liquids until 4 hours before you arrive (i.e., water, apple juice, soda,
Gatorade®). Avoid any red or purple liquids.
3. Do not take liquid antacids before your test.
4. Unless you were told to hold or stop your medicines, you may take your normal
medicines with a small sip of clear liquid up to 1hour before you arrive.
5. Follow the arrival and registration instructions in your cover letter.
6. If you have a problem food, please feel free to bring it to your appointment.
7. Plan to be with us for about 2-4 hours. The amount of time that your visit takes will
depend on the number of tests that are needed.
Making a Diagnosis
Several tests may be needed to make the diagnosis. One or more of these tests may be done on
the day of your visit. The tests ordered depend on your symptoms, your history, and whether the
disorder is in the throat or the esophagus. You may be seen by several specialists including a
gastroenterologist, a swallow therapist, a radiologist, and a nurse. Formal tests could include:
ξ Modified barium swallow (video fluoroscopic swallow study): A video X-ray shows
the mouth, throat and swallowing tube (esophagus) as you swallow different liquids and
food mixed with a liquid called barium.
ξ Fiber-optic endoscopic swallowing evaluation: This test uses a special camera
(endoscope) and a lighted camera to test how you swallow, and what you feel in your
ξ High resolution pharyngeal manometry: This test measures your throat strength when
ξ Imaging tests: Computerized tomography (CT) scans.
The following tests may be ordered to look for blockage (obstruction), irritation and motility
problems in the swallowing tube (esophagus), and whether the esophagus is pumping too hard or
ξ Barium swallow (esophagram): A video X-ray is used to watch how liquids and food
(mixed with a liquid called barium) move through the esophagus when you swallow.
ξ Endoscopy: During this test your doctor examines your throat and esophagus with a
flexible, narrow tube (endoscope) inserted into your mouth and down the esophagus.
ξ Esophageal manometry: A small tube (catheter) is used to measure esophageal pressure
and will record how long and how often your muscles contract.
ξ Impedance-pH probe: This test measures whether gases or liquids come back up into
The UW-Health Digestive Health Swallowing Disorders Clinic provides a full team-based
approach for assessment, testing, and treatment for acute and chronic swallowing issues. In many
cases, answers and a treatment program can be developed by the end of the day. Follow up visits
are needed so that we know that our treatment plans are working. We will work directly with you
to explain, counsel, and monitor your progress.
Before you leave, please let us know if you have any concerns or questions.
UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7688