Barium Enema – Patient Education and Preparation

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Barium Enema Procedure

   A barium enema examination or lower GI series is an xray procedure use to visualize the interior anatomy of your large intestine or colon and rectum. Your digestive tract consist of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and the rectum. Food we ate travels down in digestive tract in this order. The main function of the colon are to absorb water into the body, change the liquid waste material into solid waste material known as feces, and stores feces until enough accumulates to be passed from the anus as a bowel movement.

Why Barium Enema are done?

   Abnormal conditions may develop into your colon such as colon cancer, polyps, out pouching of the colon wall called diverticula, ulcers or narrowed area known as strictures. If you develop an unexplained bleeding in the feces, abdominal pain or change on your bowel habits your doctor may request a barium enema examination for you.

How the Procedure is done?

   Before the procedure you’ll be ask to lie down on an xray table. A lubricated tube will be carefully inserted into your rectum. A bag containing barium will be attach on the upper end of the tube, and the barium will be allowed to flow in to your colon. When enough barium has flowed into your colon, you’ll be ask to try very hard not to expel any of it while xray are taken. A tiny balloon attach at the opposite side of the tube that carries the barium will be inflated to prevent any barium from leaking out from your anus during the exam.

   While the xray pictures are being taken, you’ll be ask to roll from side to side or to stand up. This will let the barium flow to different areas so that sufficient xray images of your colon can be obtain. After many xray are taken you will be given a bed pan or taking you into the bathroom to expel the barium as much as possible. A few more xrays will be taken after you have been evacuated most of the barium out of your colon, this will allow to see if how much more left barium in your colon because small amount of barium in your colon clearly illuminates the outline of your colon.

Patient Preparation

   You will be given a laxative before the procedure this will help to empty the bowel in the colon. Laxative will be taken after your dinner meal, afterwards you are require not to eat anything until the procedure is done.

After Procedure

   After the barium enema you can go home on the same day of the procedure. You will most likely to be able to resume your normal diet. Most radiographer instructs patient to increase their fluid intake for a period of time to be certain that all the barium will pass out in the colon. You were likely notice more gas than usual and see barium in the next several bowel movement that you have been done.

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