Barium enema (1434)

Key points below

What is a contrast enema?

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

Special preparationenema

No Prep is needed for this exam.
Please bring copies of any images that your child might have had done anywhere other than Children’s Wisconsin.  This may include a CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine or Ultrasound.       

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

This whole test takes about 30 minutes.

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 looks over all pictures at the end of the test.  A report is sent to your child’s doctor.  If we have any questions, 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.