Barium Enema

A Barium Enema is an x-ray exam of your rectum and colon. This test helps your doctor detect problems such as a blockage, a tumor, polyps or other disorders.


  • A tube is inserted into your rectum.
  • Your colon is filled with barium (a liquid that improves the x-ray images).
  • You will be asked to move into different positions and hold your breath while x-rays are taken.
  • Pressure may be applied to your belly to get the best images.
  • The last x-ray will be taken after you go to the bathroom.
  • The procedure takes about one hour.


  • Bring a list of current medications.
  • You will receive detailed preparation information at the time of scheduling or by mail. 
  • For Macomb patients only:
    • Clear liquid, fat free diet the day before the exam (no milk).
    • Drink at least one full glass or more of water every two hours beginning at noon.
    • The evening before the examination, drink one (10 oz) bottle of Magnesium Citrate (cold) at 7pm.
    • Do not eat before exam. Sips of water allowed up to one hour prior to exam. 


  • If you are having an Upper GI study performed on the same day, the Barium Enema must be done first.
  • Having a Barium Enema may affect your ability to schedule other GI procedures within certain time frames.


Take the next step
Let us help you schedule an appointment.