A barium enema allows the Radiologist to view the large bowel (colon) and helps in the diagnosis of bowel problems.
Booking your Procedure
You will be asked to fax or email your referral when making a booking. A Radiologist will review your referral and confirm this is the best test for you. If we consider an alternate test is warranted, we will confirm this with your Doctor beforehand.
These procedures are performed at the following Dr Jones & Partners locations:
- Alice Springs Hospital
- Calvary Wakefield Hospital
- Kurralta Park
- Noarlunga Hospital
- Pt Augusta Hospital
- Pt Pirie Hospital
- Pt Lincoln Hospital
- St Andrew’s Hospital
You will be asked to lie on an x-ray table for a preliminary abdominal X-Ray. The X-Ray will confirm the preparation has adequately cleared the bowel.
A short, flexible, lubricated tube will be placed into your rectum. Tape will be placed on the skin to secure the tube in place. Sometimes a small balloon may be inflated to prevent the tube from falling out.
Barium liquid is passed through the tube and into the bowel. This may give you some urgency to use your bowel which you must resist. Once the bowel has been adequately filled it is partly drained out. A small volume of air is then introduced to the bowel using the same tube. You will be asked to move on the table into a variety of positions while X-Rays are taken using live images. The Radiologist will need to make sure that your bowel is well coated with the mixture. The air will make you will feel pressure like you need to use your bowels again, but it is important to try to hold the liquid and air inside. There may be some discomfort during the procedure like a belly ache. As soon as the X-Rays have been taken the air will be released in a controlled manner. The tube will then be removed and you will be able to go to the toilet. A bowel motion in the toilet will provide some immediate relief.
Before your Scan
You will need to collect a bowel preparation kit from one of our departments. This kit requires you to follow a special diet the day prior to your booking and consume a laxative drink to clear your bowel before the procedure. You must follow the instructions given to you precisely. lf any of the preparation instructions are unclear, or if you have had previous problems with a similar procedure, please contact us directly. lf you are a diabetic, you must contact us prior to your appointment. Please take any normal medication with a sip of water during the preparation period.
45 – 60 minutes
Despite the fact that you have been to the toilet following the examination, there may still be a significant amount of fluid and air remaining in the bowel. For this reason, we recommend you stay near a toilet for the next 4 – 6 hours. It is best to visit the toilet even if you think it is only wind. Some people feel some cramping discomfort for a short time.
The barium may lead to constipation and we suggest you drink extra fluids for the next 2 days.
lf you have any questions, please feel free to speak to the staff before you leave, they will be happy to help you