Barium Enema

What is a Barium Enema?

Performing a Barium Enema is a procedure in which barium sulfate, a radiocontrast agent, is injected into the rectum, or large intestine. Using this procedure, X-ray images of the lower gastrointestinal tract can be obtained to diagnose problems with the colon. It is also used for treatment purposes.


Taking an enema is a common procedure to remove waste from the colon. During the procedure, a tube containing barium material is inserted into the anus. This is a white chalky substance. It is then pushed through the rectum and into the intestines.

Before an enema, the doctor will ask about your medical condition and any medications you may be taking. They may also advise you to stop taking certain medications before the procedure. You will also be asked to drink clear liquids only. You may be given medicine to prevent abdominal cramping.

After the enema, you will go home. You will have to remove all metal objects such as jewelry and dental devices. You will also be asked to drink clear fluids throughout the evening. You will also need to follow instructions on how to cleanse your colon.

The barium test is also a good way to see the inside of the large intestine. The barium flows through a tube into the colon and allows doctors to see the inner lining of the intestine.

During the test, you may have to go into different positions. You may also feel pressure from the barium liquid. This can cause a mild cramping sensation in the lower abdominal area. You may also have a fever. If you have a fever, it is important to seek medical care. You may need to visit the emergency room if you feel ill or have a blood clot.

A barium enema can be performed as part of a hospital stay or as an outpatient procedure. It usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. You will be given a consent form to sign before the test. The form explains the benefits of the test and the risks.

The barium enema is not appropriate for people with weakened bowel walls or severe abdominal symptoms. You should call your doctor if you experience any abdominal pain or other symptoms. You should also call the doctor if you have any questions.

The barium enema may require you to skip certain medications before the test. If you are pregnant, you should also check with your doctor.


During a barium enema, a liquid barium sulfate is injected into the rectum. This helps the radiologist to see the internal surface layer of the large intestine on X-rays.

In addition to the barium, the patient may be given a laxative to help remove waste from the colon. This procedure can be uncomfortable and may cause constipation for a few days. A follow-up test will be performed to evaluate the results. If the results are abnormal, further testing may be required.

A barium enema may be performed as a routine outpatient procedure or as part of a hospital stay. If you are pregnant or have weakened bowel walls, you may not be a good candidate for the procedure.

The barium enema procedure may cause rectal bleeding. You may also experience rectal cramping. This may end quickly or may last for several hours.

You should wear a hospital gown during the procedure. You should also remove any eyeglasses or jewelry. If you are unsure if you are a candidate for a barium enema, talk to your healthcare provider.

The procedure typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes. During the test, the radiologist may press on your abdomen and pelvis to help get a better view of your colon. Your bowel may also be injected with air. This may cause mild discomfort and produce a feeling of fullness.

After the barium enema is finished, the radiologist will write a report for your healthcare provider. You can expect to hear the results within one to two days. The doctor will notify you of your results and schedule a follow-up appointment.

A barium enema is usually done at an outpatient X-ray facility. Before your enema, your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you. You may also be given medicine to reduce abdominal cramping. You will also need to remove all dental devices and metal objects.

The doctor will get an informed consent form from you. The doctor will call you to schedule your follow-up appointment. If you have a fever or rectal bleeding, go to the emergency room right away.

X-ray imaging of the lower GI tract

X-ray imaging of the lower GI tract is a minimally invasive procedure that may be performed in the hospital. This test can detect problems in the digestive system, including ulcers and diverticula. The test may also be used to diagnose unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms.

The lower GI series may take up to 60 minutes. A technician will take x-rays and a video while the patient holds still. This procedure can be uncomfortable and will cause the patient to want to go to the bathroom.

To prepare for the test, the patient should tell the healthcare provider about any medications they are taking. They should also tell the provider about any illnesses they have had recently. It is important to tell the provider about any allergies.

Before the test, the healthcare provider will perform a rectal exam to make sure there are no problems. Once the rectal exam is complete, the health care provider will give the patient a bedpan and help them to use the bathroom. The healthcare provider may also give the patient an enema to help flush out the barium.

After the enema is completed, the healthcare provider will give the patient instructions on how to remove the barium from the colon. The instructions will describe how to flush out the remaining barium and what to expect.

Once the barium has been flushed out of the large intestine, the healthcare provider may take one or two x-rays. Afterward, the healthcare provider will review the results with the patient. They will discuss any possible treatment options and schedule a follow-up appointment.

During the X-ray imaging of the lower gastrointestinal tract, the radiologist uses a special X-ray called fluoroscopy to view the internal organs in motion. This test is often used to diagnose problems such as ulcers, cancerous growths, and diverticula.

This test may also be performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure will vary depending on the doctor’s practice. Before the test, the patient should remove any jewelry and clothing that may impede the imaging. During the test, the patient may experience bloating and cramping in the abdomen.


During a barium enema, a tube is inserted into the rectal wall. A barium solution is then injected into the rectum through the tube. Once injected, the barium and water are removed through the tube.

The barium enema procedure is a safe diagnostic procedure. However, complications can occur. A doctor should discuss the risk with the patient before performing the procedure.

The most common complication is perforation of the bowel. Depending on the cause of the perforation, treatment may vary. If the perforation is severe, the patient may require laparotomy. In addition to perforation, the bowel may also be affected by barium leakage, which may result in obstruction.

Other less common complications include barium embolization and barium impaction. These can be prevented with careful technique.

A 64-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital’s gynecology department with a mild anterior vaginal wall prolapse and lower abdominal pain. She had no previous medical history. She underwent three defecography examinations. She was relieved after treatment. However, she did experience some perineal and anal pain. The rectal laceration subsequently worsened.

In addition to pain, a patient may experience other complications, such as generalized abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bowel obstruction. If these symptoms persist, the patient may need further testing to determine the cause of the symptoms.

If barium enema complications occur, it is important to have them addressed immediately. The patient may be in danger of developing serious sepsis, especially if there is a history of blood clots. Those with blood clots should go to the hospital’s emergency department.

Barium enema procedures may vary depending on the doctor’s practices. In addition, the procedure may be performed as part of a hospital stay. When undergoing the procedure, the patient will be required to remove all metal objects, eyewear, and jewelry. He or she may also be asked to stop taking certain medications before the procedure.

Barium enema complications can be prevented with proper technique and equipment. However, they can also occur with improper technique or equipment. It is important to have the procedure performed by a qualified gastroenterologist.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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