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A barium (sometimes called a contrast) enema test is an X-ray of your child's large intestine (colon and rectum). It can help find diseases and other problems that affect the large intestine, such as constipation, intussusception, and Hirschsprung disease.
Before the X-ray, your child will be given an enema that contains barium. Barium is also called contrast material. It is put into your child's intestine through a tube that's placed in the rectum. The barium helps your child's large intestine show up clearly on the X-ray picture.
A barium enema can be uncomfortable. But usually the test doesn't take long.
After the test, your child may have white or greyish stools and cramping for a few days.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Adaptation Date: 11/15/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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