Prepare for a Contrast Enema Exam

A Contrast Enema is an x-ray examination of the large intestine, also known as the colon.

Patient Safety Tips Prior to a diagnostic exam in Radiology

  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant, please tell your doctor or technologist.
  • Please leave your valuables at home or in your room in the hospital.
  • Please let us now if you need interpreting services, this can be arranged for you.

Preparation for the exam

  • No specific preparations are needed prior to the exam.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled exam time.

During the exam

  • The technologist will verify your identification and exam requested.
  • You will have the opportunity to ask the technologists questions.
  • There will be an opportunity for you to talk with the radiologist about the plan for the procedure and give your consent.
  • The duration of the exam will vary, but the average is about 30 minutes.
  • The technologist will position you on the exam table, and give you instructions.
  • The technologist will insert a lubricated enema tip into your rectum.  Contrast solution will flow into the rectum.  The radiologist will ask you to turn from side to side.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, you should tell the technologist or radiologist.

After care and side effects

  • You may go to the toilet facilities to expel the barium. The barium will make your stools white for a few days.
  • If you are going home, you may resume normal activities.
  • Drink plenty of fluids in the days following the exam.
  • If you experience constipation after the exam, tell your doctor.

If you have any questions, please call the Radiology Resource Nurse at 415-353-4030.


Related Content