A barium enema test is an X-ray of your large intestine (colon and rectum). It is used to help find diseases and other problems that affect the large intestine.
Before the X-ray, you will be given an enema that contains barium. Barium is also called contrast material. It is put into your intestine through a tube that is placed in your rectum. The barium helps your large intestine show up clearly on the X-ray picture.
A barium enema can be uncomfortable. But usually the test does not take a long time. Many people say that the preparation is the hardest part of the test.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Before a barium enema, tell your doctor if you:
After the test, you may have light-coloured stools and cramping for a few days.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now if:
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Current as of: October 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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