Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
A barium enema is an x-ray exam of your rectum and colon. This test helps your doctor detect problems such as a blockage, a tumor, polyps, or other disorders.
X-rays will be taken during your exam.
BEFORE YOUR TEST
- Switch to a liquid diet 2 days before your exam.
- Do not eat or drink 8 hours before your exam.
- Use a suppository, laxative, or enema if you have been instructed to do so.
DURING YOUR TEST
- A tube is inserted into your rectum.
- Your colon is filled with barium (a liquid that improves the x-ray images).
- You will be asked to move into different positions and hold your breath while x-rays are taken.
- Pressure may be applied to your belly to get the best images.
- The last x-ray will be taken after you go to the bathroom.
AFTER YOUR TEST
- Drink plenty of water to relieve constipation you may have after the test.
- Your stool may appear white or light for a day or two.
- Your doctor will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone.
- Your next appointment is: ________________
Discover leading-edge gastroenterology care. Call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County at 949.612.9090 or simply use the Request an Appointment form.