What do the test results from a barium enema mean?

The X-ray images will be examined by a radiologist and a report will be sent to your doctor. The results will be discussed with you at a later appointment. Based on the findings, your doctor may recommend additional testing or treatment.

What are the risks to a barium enema?

This is a minimally invasive test with few complications. Rare complications include the following:

  • Colon perforation
  • Severe constipation (impaction) or obstruction from residual barium that hardens
  • Allergic reaction to barium

When should I call the doctor after the barium enema?

Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas within two days of the exam
  • Severe belly pain or distention
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fever

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