This examination evaluates the large intestine. Pictures will be taken of the large intestine as contrast is administered into the rectum through a soft rubber catheter. These pictures are taken with children laying on their back and on their side.
Infants (0-2 years of age) and any child referred for constipation or to rule out Hirschsprung’s disease: No prep.
All other indications, please call our office to have the Pediatric Radiologist provide a specific prep.
Day Of The Exam
Please plan to arrive between 15-30 min prior to your scheduled appointment. Check-in and registration are completed at the front desk. The technologist will escort you to the room and discuss the study with you. Your child will then change into a gown.
Upon entering the room, you will notice an exam table with a machine on top that can move from side to side, as well as up and down. This part of the machine acquires the pictures and will be positioned over the part of the body being imaged. You may be present with your child in the room during the exam, but you must wear a lead shield for your own protection. The radiologist will also be present to discuss the study and address any concerns with you.
Your child must lay flat on their back on the exam table. A small soft rubber catheter will be inserted into the rectum and secured by tape attached to the buttocks. The top part of the fluoroscopy machine will be positioned over your child and multiple pictures will be taken in different positions as the special contrast is administered into the rectum and large intestine. Upon completion of the exam, the catheter will be removed.
Additional pictures may be acquired after the child goes to the bathroom or has a bowel movement with a diaper on.
The radiologist will discuss the exam findings with you, review select images and address any questions. Thereafter, a detailed report will be forwarded to your referring physician.
Please ensure that your child is properly hydrated throughout the day, as the contrast may cause constipation. The barium contrast may also cause discolored stool, do not be alarmed.
Will I be able to stay with my child?
Yes, you will be able to stay in the room with your child. Please note, siblings and pregnant women cannot be present during the exam.
How long is the exam?
A routine upper GI series can take between 30-45 minutes. An upper GI series with small bowel follow through can take between 2-6 hours. A Barium swallow exam can take between 15-30 minutes. A contrast enema can take between 30-45 minutes.
Does the exam use radiation?
Yes. This exam uses x-rays, which are a form of radiation. The dose of radiation is kept to a minimum in keeping with the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle. Our machines are programed to give a small dose, as calculated by the patients size and we image for short periods of time.
What does the dye taste like?
Many patients describe a chalky taste. We add a flavoring agent to improve the taste. Please let us know if you have any dietary limitations or allergies.