Barium Enema

This is an x-ray evaluation of the large intestine, also known as the colon. The appendix may be seen if it is present and a portion of the small intestine may be visualized as well. Though still x-ray images can be useful in examining the colon and rectum, dynamic fluoroscopy is often the most effective way to view abnormal or blocked movement of waste through the body's lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

A physician may order a lower GI examination to look for ulcers, benign tumors (or polyps), inflammatory diseases, cancer or signs of certain other intestinal illnesses. The procedure is frequently performed on individuals suffering from chronic diarrhea, blood in stools, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, unexplained weight loss, a change in bowel habits or to detect a source of suspected blood loss. Images of the bowel and colon are also used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, a group of disorders that includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

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