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Barium Enema
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Barium Enema?

Barium is a milky fluid that absorbs x-rays . Barium will be placed into your bowels through your rectum. This is called an enema. Barium coats the lining of your lower intestines, which makes that area easier to see on an x-ray.

Barium Enema
Barium Enema
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

You may have a barium enema to look for problems in your lower intestines. Some things your doctor may be looking for include:

  • Abnormal growths (eg, polyps , cancers )
  • Ulcers
  • Diverticula (small pouches in the wall of the large intestine)
  • Thickening of the lining of the large intestine

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement (two or more days after the exam)
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Bloody stools

If you think you have an emergency, call 911.