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Barium Enema Study with Air Contrast

Department of Diagnostic Imaging
Location: Suite 016
Director: Kurt Meehan, R.T.
Appointments: 216-382-2853

General Description
What to Expect
How to Prepare
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General Description
A Barium Enema Study with Air Contrast is an x-ray exam of the large intestine and rectum that can help detect or diagnose problems in those areas. Barium acts as a liquid contrast agent to help the radiologist see the bowel clearly. Air is used as an additional contrast agent.

What to Expect
You will be asked to change into a gown and will be positioned on an exam table. Barium and air will be introduced into your colon. As your colon fills, the radiologist will take images. Once the colon is filled, you may feel full and somewhat uncomfortable. The technologist will take additional images as quickly as possible. Then, you will be asked to expel the barium in the lavatory and return immediately for additional films. The procedure will take approximately one hour. You will notice some chalky material in your stools for a few days, which is normal. It is merely the remaining barium that was coating your colon. Increase your fluid intake for a few days after your study to rid your colon of the remaining barium. Your doctor will receive a written report approximately 48 hours after the study.

How to Prepare

  1. A Barium Enema Study with Air requires a bowel prep and a clear liquid diet.You will need to purchase the following items at any local drug store two days before the procedure:
    1. 10 oz. bottle of Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution (any flavor is fine as is any generic store brand)
    2. Four (4) tablets of Bisacodyl laxative 5MG or Dulcolax brand
    3. One (1) Bisacodyl Suppository laxative 10MG or Dulcolax brand
  2. If you have questions or are unsure about what to buy, then please ask the pharmacist.
  3. Please follow all Bowel Prep Instructions.
  4. Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment and bring the requisition provided by your physician.

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