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Diagnostic X-Ray/Fluoroscopy

Barium Enema

What is a Barium Enema?

A barium enema, or lower gastrointestinal (GI) exam, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. To make the intestine visible on x-ray, the colon is filled with a contrast material containing barium. The barium causes the intestine to show up clearly on the x-rays.

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Preparing For Your Barium Enema

Your bowels need to completely empty for this procedure. If not, the exam may be postponed. Your doctor will give you instructions for bowel preparation which begins the day before the exam. If there is any chance you may be pregnant please let your doctor and the technologist know prior to your procedure.

What to Expect During the Procedure

  • A radiologist and a technologist will perform the exam
  • You will be asked to remove all clothing and change into a gown
  • The technologist will take preliminary x-rays to ensure the cleanliness of the bowel
  • As you lie on your side, a lubricated enema tip will be inserted into your rectum
  • The radiologist will come in and regulate the flow of barium into your colon. Sometimes a small amount of air is delivered into the colon as well. You will feel fullness in your abdomen.
  • You will be asked roll around to different positions while the radiologist watches the flow of barium. He will ask you to remain still and hold your breath at times while he takes images.
  • Several x-rays will be taken after the radiologist is finished.
  • Once the images are complete you will be allowed to use the restroom and afterwards the technologist will take a couple more images.

After the Barium Enema

After the procedure, you may leave. You should drink plenty of fluids and resume your normal diet, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. It is normal to pass whitish stool for a couple of days.

The interpreting radiologist will send the results to your ordering physician. Your physician will contact you with the results.

To schedule an appointment, call 1-866-841-2355.

Upper GI

What is an Upper GI?

An Upper GI series is an x-ray of the gastrointestinal system, which includes your upper digestive tract, lower esophagus, stomach, and upper small bowel. Because x-rays pass readily through the soft tissues of the body, such as those in your upper digestive tract, a contrast medium called barium is used to color the digestive tract so that it shows up clearly.

Preparing For Your Upper GI

If there is a chance that you may be pregnant, be sure to inform the radiologist or technologist prior to the procedure. Please follow all of the prep instructions given to you.

  1. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your exam until your exam is completed
  2. We recommend that you not smoke nor chew gum after midnight on the day of your exam until your exam is completed.

What to Expect During the Procedure

  1. A radiologist and a technologist will perform the exam
  2. You will be asked to remove some clothing and change into a gown
  3. You will be asked a series of questions about your health history and the reason for the exam.
  4. The technologist will take some preliminary x-rays
  5. You will be asked to drink the barium while the radiologist watches it move through your system with x-rays. You may also be asked to drink some gas crystals or a pill.
  6. You will be asked to hold still and hold your breath at times. The table will move from upright to flat.
  7. When the radiologist is finished the technologist may take several more x-rays.

After the Upper GI

After the procedure, you may leave. You should drink plenty of fluids and resume your normal diet, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. It is normal to pass whitish stool for a couple of days.

The interpreting radiologist will send the results to your ordering physician. Your physician will contact you with the results.