Barium Enema (cont.)
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Barium Enema Risks
Occasionally, the barium that remains in the colon can harden into clumps and has the potential to cause constipation or even impaction (intestinal blockage). This risk is reduced by taking plenty of fluids by mouth after the test; some radiologists recommend a post-test laxative or enema for patients.
Rarely, small clumps of barium retained in the bowel, termed barium granulomas, may cause inflammation in the colon.
During the barium enema procedure, the contrast material may rarely, perforate the colon and spill into the abdominal cavity. The lining of the abdominal cavity may become infected (the condition is called chemical peritonitis). The colon may narrow and become blocked.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/20/2014
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