A barium enema is a special x-ray that helps determine if your child is having problems with their large intestine.
What will the test involve?
- Your child may be asked to lie on a board. The x-ray technologist will insert a soft rubber tube into your child’s rectum. White chalky liquid called barium will be given slowly through the tube and fill the large intestine.
- It fill make your child’s abdomen feel full and may cause some cramping. Your child may feel like he/she needs to have a bowel movement during the test, which is normal. It’s very important that your child holds the barium in as long as possible.
- The x-ray technologist will take x-rays and the camera will not touch or hurt your child. They may ask your child to roll side to side to better coat the large intestine with the barium.
- After these x-rays have been completed, your child may use the restroom and another x-ray will be taken.
How long will the test last?
This test will last approximately 60 minutes and your total visit time will be approximately 90 minutes.
Before the test
- Less than 4 years of age: No prep is needed
- 4 years of age and older: Night before the test: Clear liquid dinner (clear broth, jello, Powerade, Gatorade, popsicles). Day of the test: Clear liquids only.
After the test
- Your child’s bowel movements may look white for a day or two because of the barium and this is normal. Encouraging fluids will help clear the barium from the large intestine.
- Your child may resume his/her normal diet and activities after the test.
- Your child’s test results will be discussed with you at your child’s next follow up appointment at GI for Kids.