Small bowel follow through

This is an exam of the small intestine that provides images by the ingestion of a white liquid called barium.

The small bowel follow through is a simple and painless exam, so there is little to worry about!

In general, this type of exam is prescribed to people suffering from unexplained abdominal pain, bleeding, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, etc.

Exam offered

Make an appointment

+Make an appointment

Make an appointment by calling the following Radiologie PB clinic:
- The Longueuil clinic located on Chambly Road: (450) 646-3520

+Duration of the exam

- Average length of the exam: 45 minutes
- Total length of the visit: 1 to 3 hours, depending on how fast you digest.

+Cost of the exam

The cost of this exam is covered by the RAMQ (free of charge).


You must register at the front desk upon arrival at the clinic.

Make sure to bring the following with you:
- Your health insurance card (RAMQ)
- A valid prescription signed by your doctor

To avoid any delays, we recommend you arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.


If your appointment is in the morning...
- Do not eat or drink anything during the six hours preceding the exam
- Be careful not to smoke during the six hours preceding the exam

If your appointment is in the afternoon
- Have a light breakfast around 6 a.m. (toast, jam, and beverage).
- Be careful not to smoke during the six hours preceding the exam

If you are taking medication, you can take it as usual with a little water. If you have diabetes, click here. (lien vers la FAQ) click here.

+The exam

A few minutes after registering, a member of our team will escort you to the changing room where you will put on an exam gown.

You will then be led to the exam room where you will be asked to drink a white liquid (barium, which has a light vanilla taste). The radiologist will monitor the progress of the liquid through your small bowel, up to the large bowel (colon), using a series of images taken every 20 minutes, approximately. A technologist will ask you to take different positions for a series of images.

It is important to carefully follow the instructions in order to carry out the exam correctly and to ensure quality images.

After the exam, you may resume your regular activities. We recommend drinking plenty of water as barium can cause constipation. In the days following the exam, it is normal to find barium residue (white matter) in the stool.


The X-rays are reviewed by the radiologist after your departure. The final report is sent to your doctor within 24-48 hours.

+Remember to...

- Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment
- Notify the technologist if you are pregnant or think you might be
- Bring your health insurance card (RAMQ)
- Bring a valid prescription signed by a physician
- Drink plenty of water following the exam to avoid constipation