Defecography is an x-ray examination of the rectum that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium to evaluate the function and emptying of the rectum.


  • Take in Fleet Enema 2 hours prior to exam. You can purchase a Fleet Enema Kit from a pharmacy or supermarket.
  • Do not eat/drink 2 hours prior to the procedure. If you are diabetic, this may involve adjusting your diabetic medications. Please consult your physician regarding these medications.
  • You should take your regular medications with small sips of water at least 2 hours prior to the study.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time with a prescription if your doctor has given you one.


  • Defecography exams are performed at Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
  • Radiologist may perform rectal examination.
  • Barium will be placed in your rectum
  • During the test, you are instructed to defecate (empty the rectum) on a commode while x rays of the pelvis are taken.
  • These x rays are taken while you are sitting at rest, straining, squeezing, and during defecation.
  • You will be given one cup of barium to drink before we can begin your exam. After approximately 45 minutes, the defecography exam will begin, and last approximately 10-15 minutes. 
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