What is a barium enema?
A series of images of your colon. This test may make you feel crampy or
like you need to go to the bathroom.
Who will do the test?
An x-ray technologist and a Physician's Assistant.
How is the test done?
This test is a regular enema with a special liquid that can be seen on
x-ray. While the bowel is filling and full, x-rays are taken. After your
exam is completed, it is important you drink plenty of liquids the
remainder of the day. This will help get rid of the rest of the barium
solution. Your stools may appear white and chalky for 24-72 hours after
How long will the exam take?
The exam averages 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When will I know the results?
A radiologist evaluates the test and prepares a report for your doctor.
It may be several days before you hear from your doctor.
PREPARATION FOR A BARIUM ENEMA
Two Days Before - eat or drink only clear liquids. Example: jell-o, tea,
apple juice, and broth.
NO milk or milk products are allowed. Only liquid or foods you
can see thru without any food particles.
1 Day Before - at 2 p.m. drink the entire amount of the liquid
laxative (Mag Citrate) that your physician has prescribed.
1 Day Before - at 6 p.m. take the Dulcolax tablets (per your
doctor's instructions) with one full glass or more of water.
DO NOT CRUSH OR CHEW TABLETS -
SWALLOW THEM WHOLE
Do not take tablets within one hour of an antacid.
Before your exam you will be asked to remove your clothing (except
socks) and put on a hospital gown.