What To Expect for Barium Enema
The barium enema examination is designed to look at the large bowel. In order to improve visualization, a contrast agent, called barium, along with air needs to be put into the rectum via a small tube. The whole large bowel is coated with the barium, and x-rays are taken. This process takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. The patient is then sent to the washroom to evacuate as much of the barium as possible. Sometimes another x-ray is required after the patient is finished in the washroom.
Please be aware that the cleansing of the bowel with the 2 day diet and the laxative is very important to get a good examination.
Two days before the examination: Unrestricted amounts of clear liquid only (e.g. water, clear juice, Gatorade, Powerade, consomme, tea, coffee or jello). NO SOLID FOOD.
Day before the examination: Unrestricted amounts of clear liquid only (e.g. water, clear juice, Gatorade, Powerade, consomme, tea, coffee or jello). NO SOLID FOOD.
- at 5:00 pm, drink one bottle of Magnesium Citrate laxative
- at 7:00 pm, take 3 Dulcolax tablets (5mg). Do not cruch or chew tablets. Continue with a liquid diet for the rest of the day.
Day of colon examination: You may have one glass of water or clear juice. Eat nothing until the examination is completed.
* DIABETIC PATIENTS should consult their physicians regarding possible stoppage or reduction of insulin while fasting on “clear liquids only” diet.
* Please continue to take your regular medications.
Recommendations for Patients After Barium Exams
Many patients find that they tend to be constipated after Barium Exams, especially if they have been prone to this condition in the past. To prevent this, after any Barium Procedure it is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids. If you are ‘fluid restricted’ due to heart or kidney disease or think you will require a laxative please discuss this with your doctor.