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Barium Enema (cont.)

During the Procedure

Barium enema is performed at an outpatient x-ray center or in a major hospital. You usually go home the same day.

  • When you arrive, the staff will check the last time that you had food or fluids. They will also make sure that your bowel has been prepared adequately (by the cleansing enema or laxative or both).
  • You will remain awake throughout the barium enema procedure. The contrast material (barium) will be put into the rectum through a plastic tube. Aside from that discomfort, you may feel the pressure of the liquid that is being administered. Otherwise, pain should be minimal.
  • Several x-rays will be taken. The duration of the whole procedure depends on the speed of the barium to fill the necessary areas of interest, the number of images required to properly evaluate the colon, and whether additional barium or images are required.

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