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Child Barium Enema

Patient Information Sheet
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Department of Radiology Palo Alto

For your convenience you may wish to print this page and write in the time and location of your appointment. If you have any questions or concerns about the test please give us a call at (650) 853-2955.

Time: ____________________ Date:_______________________

Department of Radiology Location:

Palo Alto
795 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 853-2955

Purpose:

This examination is performed to evaluate the large intestine , also called the colon or large bowel. The large intestine is one of several organs involved in the digestive process.

Procedure:

Barium, a liquid material visible on x-rays, is placed into the colon by enema. The barium coats the lining of the intestine so abnormalities can be detected. The radiologist will use a fluoroscope, an x-ray machine that shows organs in motion, to observe the barium as it fills the bowel. When the entire colon is full of barium, a series of x-ray films will be taken.

Approximate time for the examination is one hour.

Preparation:

To obtain a satisfactory study the colon must be empty. A small degree of diet modification with the use of laxatives will usually achieve this. Please follow the appropriate instructions for the age of the child.

All patients over one year are to have a clear fluid supper the night before the examination. Nothing by the mouth four hours prior to the examination. If the examination is scheduled in the afternoon or during late morning hours, the patient may have a light clear fluid breakfast.

Newborn to One Year:

  1. Insert 1/2 of a Dulcolax suppository (10 mg) rectally three hours prior to examination.
  2. Nothing by mouth three to four hours prior to the examination (diet modification is not necessary).

One to Three Years:

  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mg) of castor oil orally at bedtime.
  2. Insert 1/2 of a suppository (10 mg) rectally three hours prior to the examination.

Three to Six Years:

  1. 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of Emusoil orally at bedtime.
  2. 1/4 bottle of Magnesium Citrate orally at bedtime.
  3. Insert Bisacodyl suppository (10 mg) rectally three hours prior to the examination.

Six to Twelve Years:

  1. 1 tablet of Bisacodyl (5 mg) orally at bedtime.
  2. 1/2 bottle of Magnesium Citrate orally at bedtime.
  3. Insert 1 Bisacodyl suppository (10 mg) rectally three hours prior to the examination.

Twelve Years and up:

  1. 2 tablets of Dulcolax (5 mg each) orally at bedtime.
  2. 1 bottle of Magnesium Citrate orally at bedtime.
  3. Insert 1 Dulcolax suppository (10 mg) rectally three hours prior to the examination.

After the Examination: The patient may resume a normal diet after the examination has been completed. The barium will pass naturally from the body and cause no side effects. Stool color may resemble the barium for a day or two after the examination.

If you have any questions please call the Department of Radiology at (650) 853-2955.