A barium enema examines the lower GI tract (colon) using fluoroscopy (video x-rays) and contrast (barium-sulfate) which coats the lining of the colon. Barium enemas are most commonly used for cancer screening in place of, or as an adjunct to, colonoscopy.
Barium Enema Preparation: Before a barium enema exam, you will need to empty your colon. Residual material in the colon may be mistaken for an abnormality.
Colon Cleanse: 24 hours prior to the examination please maintain a clear liquid diet to minimize material within the colon. Clear liquids include apple juice, cranberry juice, grape juice, clear broth, gelatin, coffee or tea. No milk products or carbonated beverages may be consumed.
At 8 P.M. the night before the examination, drink one 10oz. bottle of citrate of magnesia. Drink four 8 oz. glasses of water between 8 P.M and bedtime. At 10 P.M. the night before take four Dulcolax pills with water. Post Procedure Care: After the barium study a laxative (3 tbsp. Milk of Magnesia) should be taken.