Barium Enema

Barium is a milky fluid that absorbs x-rays. Barium is placed into the bowels through the rectum. This is called an enema. Barium coats the lining of the lower intestines. This makes that area easier to see on an x-ray.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Severe pain
    • Inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement (two or more days after the exam)
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Bloody stools

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    Barium is a milky fluid that absorbs
    x-rays. Barium is placed into the bowels through the rectum. This is called an enema. Barium coats the lining of the lower intestines. This makes that area easier to see on an x-ray.

    Barium Enema
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    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Test

    You may have a barium enema to look for problems in your lower intestines. Some things your doctor may be looking for include:


    • Abnormal growths (eg,
      polyps
      ,
      cancers
      )
    • Ulcers
    • Diverticula
      (small pouches in the wall of the large intestine)
    • Thickening of the lining of the large intestine

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare. Some may have an allergic reaction to the barium or latex of the tube. Talk to your doctor about any allergies you may have.