Barium Enema X-Ray Prep

The barium enema requested by your physician is an examination of your colon or large intestine. It can be very important in diagnosing disorders of the large intestine. It need not be difficult or particularly unpleasant. It does require great attention to detail.

IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOUR COLON BE THOROUGHLY CLEANSED FOR THIS EXAMINATION. EVEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF RETAINED STOOL MAY HIDE ABNORMALITIES. IN ADDITION, IF YOUR BOWEL IS COMPLETELY EMPTY, THE BARIUM ENEMA WILL BE LESS UNCOMFORTABLE FOR YOU.

The barium must be given by a physician in the imaging facility. The radiologists will perform the procedure with fluoroscopy and obtain a number of images using X-ray during the enema. The radiologist will write a consultation report of the findings for the physician.

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

Please follow a clear liquid diet the entire day before your exam. Clear liquids include:

  • Clear juices without pulp (apple, white grape, lemonade, white cranberry)
  • Water
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Coffee or tea (without milk or non dairy creamer)
  • All of the following that are NOT RED OR PURPLE:
    • Gatorade
    • Carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks (Sprite, 7-Up, ginger ale)
    • Plain Jell-O (without added fruit or toppings)
    • Ice popsicles

Throughout the day, please make sure you drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. The liquids are an important part of the preparation.

At 5:00 p.m. drink one (1) 10 ounce bottle of Magnesium Citrate; follow this with 8 ounces of clear liquids. Drink a minimum of three (3) additional 8 ounce glasses of clear liquids throughout the evening.

DAY OF THE EXAMINATION:

Continue to follow a clear liquid diet. You may resume a normal diet AFTER your exam.

One and one half hours prior to leaving for your exam, please use one (1) Dulcolax suppository. This should result in a bowel movement within 30 minutes.

Bring a list of all your prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements –including frequency and dosage — with you to your appointment.

Important: Please bring your physician’s prescription and referral with you for the exam. If you have any questions about your exam, please call 609.921.8211.

PRECAUTIONS:

  1. If you are a diabetic and require insulin, please contact your doctor before starting the preparation.
  2. If you have an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Chron’s disease, regional enteritis or ulcerative colitis, you may want to discuss this preparation with your physician.
  3. If you have previously had an adverse response to any of the laxatives used in this preparation, please consult your physician for substitute laxative choices.
  4. If you suffer from severe or chronic diarrhea, you may want to discuss this preparation with your physician.
  5. This barium enema preparation is designed for use by the “average individual”. If you have any doubts or concerns about your preparation, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your own physician. Additional questions may be directed to the radiologist.