Barium enema

Key points below

The lowest part of the bowel is called the large intestine.  It includes the colon and rectum.  A contrast enema is an x-ray of the large intestine. 

Your child’s contrast enema x-ray is scheduled for (date) ____________  at (time) ____________ in the Imaging (Radiology) Department on the first floor of Children’s Wisconsin Hospital.

Please stop at a Welcome desk for a badge and directions to Imaging.

Special preparationenema

If you know, or think your child has constipation, hirschprung, ulcerative colitis, intussusception, renal failure or diabetes insipidus, please use the guide below which is based on your child’s age:

Important information

Before the x-ray

When you come to Imaging, someone will greet you.  Your child will put on a hospital gown and robe.  Then you will wait in the waiting area.  A person skilled in taking x-rays, called a technologist will talk with you about the test.  Please be sure to ask any questions you have. 

How the procedure is done

Parents: If you wish to stay with your child during the exam you must meet the safety guidelines.  For example, you cannot have other children with you and you must not be pregnant.

Follow-up care 

Have your child drink plenty of fluids.


The radiologist reviews all films at the end of each test.  A report is sent to your child’s doctor.  If any questions should arise, the radiologist may contact your child’s doctor before you leave the hospital.  The doctor will discuss the results with you.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • A hard time pooping (constipated).
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.