A barium enema is a radiology procedure used to detect abnormalities in the large intestine (colon). Other names for barium enema include “lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract” or “lower GI exam.” If a child is having intestinal symptoms, a barium enema may be used to help determine the cause.
Barium enema exams use a contrast agent (barium) that is placed into the child’s rectum. A special X-ray technique called fluoroscopy allows the radiologist to see real-time moving images of the structures in the child’s abdomen. The images produced by fluoroscopy can be digitalized and stored on a computer to be viewed at any time. Scans can also be sent via the Internet, which allows doctors to view studies remotely.
Any time a child has intestinal or abdominal symptoms, the large intestine might be the source of the problem. There are a wide variety of disorders that can affect the colon. Lower GI exams can help diagnose:
Symptoms that might require evaluation with barium enema include:
To schedule a pediatric barium enema, please speak to your doctor and call our scheduling team at (512) 453-6100 or toll free at (800) 998-8214. A provider referral is required to make an appointment.
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to interpret radiological examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to the provider who referred you to ARA. Your health care provider will then share the results with you. Your report will also be available on the patient portal within 3 business days.
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MASKS: ARA continues to require employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.