What To Think About
- If your doctor thinks you have an abdominal mass, other tests may be needed before or after a barium enema. These include abdominal X-rays, Reference ultrasound Opens New Window studies, and Reference computed tomography (CT) Opens New Window scans.
- If an upper gastrointestinal series is planned, it should be performed after the barium enema. The barium swallowed during an upper GI series may take several days to pass through the intestine and thus can interfere with the results of a barium enema.
- A barium enema may be used to screen for colon cancer. Other tests are used more often to screen for colon cancer. This test is less expensive and has fewer risks than Reference colonoscopy Opens New Window and Reference sigmoidoscopy Opens New Window. And it does not require sedation. But small colon polyps are more likely to be missed during a barium enema. For more information, see the topics Reference Stool Tests for Colorectal Cancer, Reference Colonoscopy, Reference Sigmoidoscopy, and Reference Virtual Colonoscopy.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 25, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology