What Is A Lower GI Series?
A Lower GI Series, commonly referred to as a Barium Enema, is a Radiographic Examination used to examine the colon and rectum. In order for this anatomy to show up on Radiographic Images, it must be filled with a contrast material called, “Barium.” The barium is introduced into the colon through a tube that is gently inserted into your rectum. In barium x-rays, fluoroscopy allows the doctor to see the movement of the intestines as the barium moves through them.
Reasons For Procedure
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool (indicating internal bleeding)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in bowel habits
- Detect abnormalities such as:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
How To Prepare For Procedure
- Starting the morning before your examination, Do Not eat solid food
- Starting the morning before your examination drink only clear liquids
- Purchase Fleet Prep #3 Kit from local drugstore and follow the 24-hour preparation instructions
NOTE: Do Not eat or drink anything the morning of your examination.
What To Expect During Procedure
You will change into a gown that has no metal fasteners that may show on Radiographic Images. Then:
- Preliminary film is taken to check for adequacy of bowel preparation. (If bowel preparation did not work completely, you will need to reschedule your examination and repeat the 24-hour preparation.)
- The Radiologist will insert the tube, and the flow of Barium into the rectum and colon will begin. (Air may also be injected through the tube to help Barium thoroughly coat lining of the colon.)
- During imaging process, you will need to turn from side to side and hold various positions.
- Air Contrast Studies: the table is positioned upright for some images
- Radiologist takes Radiographic Images with Fluoroscopy (x-rays that capture moving image of organ while functioning).
- Radiological Technologist takes larger, Still Radiographic Images.
Common Side Effects During Examination
(usually mild discomforts tolerated easily by most patients)
- You may experience the need to move your bowels as the Barium fills your colon.
- You may feel abdominal pressure, or minor cramping.
Once x-ray images are completed, most of the Barium is drawn back into a bag, and the patient is directed to the bathroom to expel the remaining Barium and air. In most cases, the Radiological Technologist may take additional images to help the Radiologist see how well the colon has cleared.
Before you leave, the Radiologist exams the images to verify they contain the necessary information. If the x-rays are acceptable, you can dress and leave. Occasionally, repeat imaging is necessary.
What To Expect After Procedure
You can resume regular diet and activities immediately after this examination unless told otherwise by your Physician.
Common Side Effects After Examination
- Barium may color stool gray or white for 48-72 hours after procedure
- Expelling of gas
NOTE: It is important to drink extra fluids for 4-5 days after procedures to avoid constipation.
NOTE: Contact your Physician is you are experiencing constipation 4-5 days after the procedure. A laxative may be required to assist you in the elimination of the Barium.
Who Interprets My Test Results & How Will I Receive Results?
One of our Radiologic Physicians interprets the x-ray images and forwards a report to your referring Physician. You referring Physician will contact you regarding the results of the procedure, as well as the next course of action if any.
What About Payment?
Radiology Consultants will file all insurance as a courtesy to you. Depending on the Contractual Agreement with your Insurance Company, you may owe a co-payment and/or deductible at the time of service.
* Please bring your Insurance Card with you *
Please visit our BILLING PAGE for specific information on Insurance, Self-Pay, Motor Vehicle Accident, Cash, Debit or Major Credit Card payment options.
Please notify the Radiological Physician and/or Technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant. Radiation is potentially harmful to a developing baby during pregnancy.
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** All images are for educational purposes only. Consult your physician for a proper diagnosis.**