Small Bowel Study
What is this test?
This is an x-ray of the small bowel. The
contrast used for this test is dense and can be
seen clearly on X-ray.
What do I need to do to get ready
for this test?
Your doctor’s office will schedule your
exam. Two days before the test, we will call
you to tell you when and where to arrive for
your test. If you have any questions please
call the following department:
(608) 263-XRAY (9729), press 1
Please ask your doctor if you should take
your normal medicines before this exam.
What do I need to know to prepare
the day before the test?
Do not eat or drink after midnight, unless
your doctor has told you to take pills with a
sip of water.
On the day of the exam, check in at the
reception desk or kiosk. When the
technologist takes you to the dressing room,
they will give you a robe and gown to put
What do I need to know the day of
You will be asked to sit on the x-ray table.
You will be asked to drink contrast. The
doctor will monitor the test on the TV-like
screen and will take pictures at various
times. The lights will be dim so the doctor
can clearly see the screen. The whirring
noise you hear is made by the x-ray
machine. The average length of the study is
two hours, but the exam may last up to 8
hours depending on how fast the contrast
passes through your small intestines.
What do I need to know after the
The radiologist will talk with your doctor or
other ordering provider about the results.
Your doctor will talk over the test results
with you and make plans for further
treatment, if needed.
Your stools will be white for a day or two.
This is normal. This is the contrast passing
out of your bowel. Contrast can cause
constipation, you may need to take 2
Tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia® to help
you expel the contrast. Check with your
doctor about this.
Resume your normal diet unless told
otherwise by your doctor.
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 © 11/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5159