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Barium Enema

What to expect

What is a barium enema?
A Barium Enema (BE) is an x-ray examination of your colon. Time required :30 minutes to one hour.

Why do I need a Barium Enema?
AYou may need a Barium Enema if you are having abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, or blood in your stool.

How do I prepare for my Barium Enama?
You will need to take a bowel prep the day before your test is scheduled. Carefully follow the instructions on the package. Drink as many clear liquids as you want. Do not drink milk or milk products. Examples of clear liquids are clear jello, tea, black coffee, bouillon, apple juice, popsicles, ice, water, and cola. Once the bowel prep is taken, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test.

What can I expect during the test?
You will be given an enema by the radiologist (a physician specializing in x-ray diagnosis). The barium solution will outline your colon and show up on x-ray film. You may experience some mild cramping for a short period of time while the films are being made.

What do I do after my Barium Enema?
After the Barium Enema, you should resume your routine diet and medications. You should also drink plenty of liquids. Your stool will continue to have a whitish color to it until you have expelled all of the barium. If you experience constipation, you may need to take a mild laxative. Your doctor will discuss the test results with you.

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