Barium Enena

BARIUM ENEMA (single contrast)

PREPARATION REQUIRED: It is of utmost importance that the colon be thoroughly cleansed for this examination.Please see instructions for using LIQUIPREP BOWEL EVACUANT KIT.

DESCRIPTION: A Barium Enema is a fluoroscopic and radiographic examination of the large intestine. Because the large colon is a hollow organ, a substance called barium must be introduced into the colon via a tube in the rectum (enema) in order to properly see the colon on x-rays.

PROCEDURE EXPLAINED: Patient will be asked to remove all clothing and put on a gown. The first step is to take one full film of the abdomen, which is called a “scout” film. This plain film taken with the patient lying on his/her back on the x-ray table is to demonstrate what the abdomen looks like before any barium is introduced into the colon. Barium is a powder that, when mixed with water, forms a solution that coats and fills the large intestine, allowing visualization of most of the abnormalities associated with the colon. Barium is introduced into the colon through an enema tip placed into the rectum. At the end of the tip is a small, inflatable balloon. After insertion of the enema tip, the Technologist will inflate the balloon slightly which helps the patient retain the tip in the rectum. Depending upon the radiologist’s preference, the patient may be lying on their back, stomach or side to begin this procedure. Through a device called fluoroscopy and a TV monitor, the Radiologist can see the barium as it fills the colon. He or she may take several small x-rays as the barium travels throughout the bowel. The barium is normally introduced slowly. And most patients have no trouble retaining the barium for this study. To avoid cramping during this study it is best to breath slowly and deeply through the relaxes the colon. After the Radiologist has completed his/her portion of the exam, the flow of barium is stopped. The Technologist must then take several “overhead” films of the abdomen. Specific instructions will be given as to how the Technologist wants the patient to move. After the Technologist has taken the films, the barium will be allowed to flow through the tubing back into the enema bag. When most of the barium has been evacuated, the tubing will be removed from the rectum and the patient will be allowed to go into the restroom and evacuate any remaining barium. After the patient feels comfortably empty, a final film will be taken to see what the colon looks like with just a residual of barium.

TOTAL TIME REQUIRED: Approximately one hour.


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