Create Online Store
What is Barium Enema? Print E-mail
Written by Phillip LaVeque   
Tuesday, 06 October 2009
A barium enema is an X-ray exam used to help diagnose certain problems in the lower bowel.
Who is a candidate for the test?

A healthcare provider may recommend a barium enema in the following cases:

- if a person has blood in the stool or notices blood on toilet paper
- if a person has a change in bowel habits
- to evaluate the part of the colon not seen on sigmoidoscopy
- if a person has a family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
- to check the colon after surgery
- to help fix a twisted bowel
- to evaluate fever or lower abdominal pain

How is the test performed?

A barium enema feels moderately uncomfortable. During this test, a person lies on the X-ray table. The person is usually asked to roll onto his or her left side. The technologist or radiologist will insert a lubricated enema tip into the rectum. The tip has a balloon that can be inflated just enough to keep liquid from leaking out.

A bag hanging on a pole holds the barium solution. This liquid is slowly passed through the bowels while X-rays are taken. The X-ray pictures are projected on a monitor. The person having the test will be asked to roll from side to side. The table may be tilted up or down, to get the best pictures. As each X-ray is taken, the person must hold his or her breath briefly.

Once the whole bowel is filled with the solution, the technologist will take more pictures with an overhead X-ray tube. Then the balloon is deflated and the enema tip is removed. The person goes to the bathroom to expel as much as possible of the barium solution. After that, he or she returns to the table so the emptied bowel can be X-rayed.

Sometimes, an air-contrast study is done, which is similar to a regular barium enema. In a one-stage air-contrast exam, the air and barium are put into the bowel together. In a two-stage exam, the barium is instilled first. The bowel is emptied and then air is pumped into it.

After the X-rays are done, the person will be asked to wait until the technologist or radiologist is sure no more X-rays are needed

What do the test results mean?

This kind of X-ray exam can detect the following:
- an abscess, or pocket of pus
- abnormal narrowing or enlargement of the bowel
- blood vessel abnormalities
- colorectal polyps
- diverticulitis
- diverticulosis
- possible bleeding sites
- leakage from the bowel into the abdomen
- tumors or abnormal growths in the intestines
- a twisted bowel
- ulcers

       $ave Money with Coupons:
        Grocery  Coupons

Men, Women Not needed to Make Babies?

U.S. researchers have found a way to coax human embryonic stem cells to turn into the types of cells that make eggs and sperm, shedding light on a stage of early human development that has not been fully understood. Read More
RocketTheme Joomla Templates
Disclaimer | Health Experts | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact
The content provided in this site is strictly for you to be able to find helpful information on improving your life and health. None of the information here is to be construed as medical advice. Only a Doctor can give you medical advice.