Our technologist and radiologist will prepare and guide you by explaining the procedure and positioning you to ensure the highest quality images are obtained from your exam.
The exam is painless and typically takes between 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
You will be given a liquid contrast medium to drink during the exam. The contrast medium is a flavored mixture of barium sulfate and water. In addition, you may be given effervescent crystals with the contrast medium to further improve the images.
You will be asked to stand upright and as well as lie down during the exam.
The radiologist will guide you on how much and when to drink the contrast medium while he or she observes the flow of liquid through your esophagus to your stomach.
In some cases, diagnostic imaging (X-rays) will accompany the exam if requested by the radiologist. This will take only a few extra minutes.
The lower GI exam typically takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
The exam is an enema and is generally not painful but some discomfort may be experienced. You will experience a feeling of fullness; need to go to the bathroom and/or some cramping. It is important that you hold the contrast liquid in until the technologist has completed the exam.
You will be asked to undress for the exam and will be given a hospital gown to wear.
You will lie on an X-ray table on your left side.
To begin, the technologist will capture an initial x-ray image or scout film to make sure you are properly prepped. This image will be reviewed by the radiologist in order to begin the exam.
The technologist will then insert an enema tip into your rectum to administer the contrast medium, or barium. Barium is a water-like substance and is not absorbed by your body.
The radiologist will come into the room to perform the examination and will monitor a video screen as your bowel fills with the barium. The radiologist will take some X-rays and leave the room as the technologist will take additional X-rays with an overhead camera.
Once the technologist confirms that all images are satisfactory you will be allowed to go to the restroom. After using the restroom, the technologist will capture a few more images to observe your bowel emptying the barium.