Enema (Lower GI Series)
Barium Enema (Lower GI Series)
Imaging (Radiology) Procedures
What is the test?
The barium enema is used to examine the
colon, also called the large intestine, which runs from the small intestine to
the rectum. This is an X-ray procedure that utilizes a contrast medium to
detect changes in the lining of the colon.
How do I prepare?
Your colon must be empty at the time of the
barium enema. The day before your test, begin a clear diet at noon (broth,
water, tea, soft drinks, bouillon, and gelatin are allowed, but coffee is not
allowed). At 6:00 p.m., the evening before your exam, administer a Fleet Phosphosoda Enema, following the instructions on the
package. (The enema can be obtained over the counter at a pharmacy.) Continue a
clear liquid diet until the after the test has been completed.
What can I expect during the
Please plan to arrive at the Imaging
Services Department 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. The procedure
typically takes about an hour. A technologist will help you onto an adjustable
X-ray table. A small tube will be carefully inserted into your rectum and
secured with a small balloon that will be inflated once in your rectum. Barium
will then be injected into the tube to fill your colon. In most cases, air will
also be injected through the rectal tube to optimize imaging. You will be asked
to lie as still as possible while X-rays are being taken in various positions.
What happens after the test?
When the X-rays are completed, you will
have the chance to empty your bowels. You may also be given a laxative or enema
to avoid constipation. Drink lots of fluids and eat what you normally do. Your
bowel movements may look chalky for a day or two after the procedure, which is
to be expected.
How and when will I get my test results?
Typically, within 48 hours a written report
of your test results will be sent to your referring physician, who will review
them with you. Additional time (3 to 5 days) may be required if we are
comparing these test results to previous findings from another hospital or
Where is the test performed?
Barium enemas are performed in the Imaging
Services Department at Cayuga Medical Center, 101 Dates Drive off NYS Route 96
About our Imaging Services
Cayuga Medical Center has a commitment to
and reputation for staying abreast of changing technology and our imaging
equipment is state-of-the-art. Our range of services is comprehensive and we
offer all imaging modalities found in major medical centers. Radiologists are
on site at all three of our locations, which also distinguishes the level of
service we provide.
Imaging Services is staffed by six-board
certified radiologists, many of whom are subspecialists in areas such as
neuroradiology, abdominal CT, and interventional procedures. Assisting them are
experienced radiologic technologists, many of whom have completed advanced
training and are certified in specialty modalities.