Upper Gastrointestinal and Small Bowel Series


Gastric radiography, stomach series, small bowel study, upper GI series, UGI.

To assess the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel for disorders related to obstruction, perforation, weight loss, swallowing, pain, cancer, reflux disease, ulcers, and structural anomalies.

Patient Preparation
There are no activity restrictions unless by medical direction. The patient should refrain from chewing gum or smoking prior to the procedure. Instruct the patient to fast and restrict fluids for 8 hr, or as ordered, prior to the procedure. Pediatric Considerations: The fasting period prior to the time of the examination depends on the child’s age. General guidelines are that the patient should not eat for the period of time between normal meals: newborn, 2 to 3 hr; infants to 4 yr, 3 to 4 hr; 5 yr through adolescence, 6 to 8 hr.

Fasting may be ordered as a precaution against aspiration related to possible nausea and vomiting. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has fasting guidelines for risk levels according to patient status. More information can be located at www.asahq.org.

Regarding the patient’s risk for bleeding, the patient should be instructed to avoid taking natural products and medications with known anticoagulant, antiplatelet, or thrombolytic properties or to reduce dosage, as ordered, prior to the procedure. Number of days to withhold medication is dependent on the type of anticoagulant. Note the last time and dose of medication taken. Protocols may vary among facilities.Normal Findings

  • Normal size, shape, position, and functioning of the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

  • Foreign body
  • Perforated bowel
  • Tumor with significant mass effect

Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.

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