Your doctor has requested that you have a Barium Enema, which is a special X-ray examination of the large bowel or gut.
ATTENTION FEMALE PATIENTS
This examination cannot be performed if you are pregnant or there is any possibility of pregnancy. If you are aged between approximately 11 and 55 years, your appointment must be within 10 days of the start of your last menstrual period.
Do I need to follow a special diet?
YES. In order for this examination to be successful, your bowel (gut) must be very empty. It is therefore very important that you follow the special diet and laxative preparation instructions very carefully. If you are diabetic, please contact the Radiology Department (Tel: 045-849810) for further instructions.
PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS HERE AND FOLLOW THEM CAREFULLY
Two days before the examination
A normal breakfast is allowed.
A mainly liquid diet (e.g. clear soups, jelly, soft drinks, tea and coffee) is allowed. Small portions of cheese, fish and eggs may also be included. No alcohol is allowed.
One day before examination
Before breakfast (not later than 8am), take the first sachet of Picolax (You will receive this by post) mixed in a cup of water. Drink at least two pints of water afterwards.
Expect a thoroughly cleansing bowel action 5–8 hours after the Picolax is taken
Breakfast: (8am–9 am)
If taken, boiled/poached egg and/or white bread with a scrape of butter or margarine. No jam or marmalade.
Lunch: (1 pm–2 pm)
A small portion of steamed, poached or grilled white fish or chicken with a small portion of boiled potato or white bread.
Clear jelly may be taken for dessert.
2 hours after lunch (not later than 4pm), take the second sachet of Picolax mixed in a cup of water.
No solid food allowed. Clear soup/meat extracts drink followed by jelly for dessert. No further food is allowed until after the examination.
Note: Expect frequent and loose bowel movements. Drink plenty of fluids to satisfy thirst (i.e. at least six pints of fluid each day before examination).
On the day of the examination
You may have a single cup of tea or coffee for breakfast.
What happens on the day of the examination?
You will enter the hospital through the new main entrance on Craddockstown Road. The Radiology Department is signposted from there and is a short distance away. On arrival at radiology reception, you may go to any of the reception hatches where you will be registered for the examination. You then go to the Barium waiting area and a member of staff will show you to a changing cubicle. You will be asked to put on a hospital gown for the examination. When you are ready, you will go to the X-ray room and the procedure will proceed.
What does the procedure involve?
In the X-ray room, you will have to lie on the X-ray table. A rubber tube is inserted into your rectum (back passage) by the radiologist (doctor who specialises in X-ray procedures). Once the tube is in place, some white barium fluid is run into your bowel through the tube. This will not be painful. You will be asked to turn over on the table a few times so that the barium coats the whole of the bowel. The radiologist will also insert some air into the bowel through the tube. A series of X-rays will then be taken. When the images have been checked, you will go to the toilet to pass most of the barium before you go home. The examination is usually completed within 60 minutes.
What happens after the examination?
You will be able to go back to work afterwards. The results of the test will be sent to the doctor who asked for you to have the barium enema. This will take up to 5 working days. You should make an appointment to see the doctor again and have the results explained to you.