An Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) series is a radiographic (X-ray) examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine). Read more.
Compare local prices, save money, and book your procedure — all in one place with MDsave. On MDsave, the cost of an Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Series ranges from $230 to $344. Read more about how it works.
The upper gastrointestinal series or UGI involves the use of fluoroscopy, X-ray and a contrast material for diagnostic purposes. Before the procedure begins, the physician will have the patient drink a liquid, which is a mix of water and barium contrast material. The focus of the diagnostic test is to use specialized equipment in order to observe how the barium contrast material moves through the esophagus, the stomach and the duodenum, which is the upper part of the small intestine using a video screen. The physician will take images using X-ray equipment from different views along the way.
The UGI series test is not the ideal test for all stomach issues, but physicians recommend it for patients who have definite gastrointestinal symptoms such as possible obstructions in the intestines, difficulty swallowing, belly pain that becomes worse while eating and severe or chronic heartburn. This is a minimally invasive procedure that allows physicians to diagnose a variety of different gastrointestinal issues, which is what sets this procedure apart from other gastrointestinal diagnostic procedures.
The upper gastrointestinal series is ideal for seeking out the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms, including but not limited to burping up food, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, abdominal pain and indigestion. It can also locate strictures or narrow spots, tumors, pyloric stenosis and polyps. This test may also find swallowed objects, find inflamed intestinal areas, blocked intestines and similar issues. Motility disorders, malabsorption syndrome and other similar disorders or diseases of the intestines may also be seen on this diagnostic procedure.