Barium Enema

An examination of the whole colon and rectum by X-ray examination. Laxatives are taken the day before to clear out the bowel.  On the day, the colon is filled with a white liquid (barium sulphate) and air and X-rays are taken from several angles.  Less frequently used to diagnose bowel cancer these days although it doesn't require sedation and should be an alternative to colonoscop after flexible sigmoidoscopy in frail elderly patients.
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