Exam Preparations

Barium Enema


A special x-ray of the colon that visualizes the entire large bowel. A liquid barium is given by enema to coat the large intestine and make it visible by x-ray. In some cases air is mixed with the barium as well.


Over the counter bowel prep kit the night before the exam and possibly a few hours before the exam. A laxative may be recommended in a pill or liquid form. Nothing to eat or drink (NPO) after midnight.

Exam Time: 30-45 minutes

Patients should arrive 15 minutes early to process paperwork

Post Instructions:

It is recommended that fluids be increased for the remainder of the day following the barium enema to help the body completely evacuate the residual barium.