Small Bowel Enema

Your doctor has referred you for a small bowel enema, otherwise known as Enteroclysis. This information is to help you with questions you may have.

Why an Enteroclysis?

Your Doctor may have suggested this test for several reasons: irregularity of bowel motions, poor absorption of nutrients, and lower abdominal pain.

Preparing for the test

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment on 07-839 4909 or 0800 HAMRAD (0800 426723)

It is important that the small bowel is empty before we start this test. For this reason you will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before the examination. The test usually takes approximately two hours. You will be asked to undress to underpants and singlet. An x-ray gown will be given to you to wear.

Female patients - please let us know prior to this test if you are, or think you may be pregnant.

Who does the test?

A Radiologist (x-ray Doctor) and a radiographer (x-ray technician) will be in the room with you. They will explain the procedure, but don't hesitate to ask them if you do not understand.

What is Barium?

Barium is a chalky substance that can be suspended in water and is visible on X-rays. It is very safe, but you should be aware that it may cause mild constipation. Drinking water and eating a fibre-rich diet over the next few days may assist if this occurs.

The procedure

As the small bowel is a soft tissue structure, it is not usually seen on a plain X-ray. By using barium to coat the inner lining of this area the Radiologist can see the bowel clearly on the X-ray screen, and can watch the way it functions during this study.

A small lubricated plastic tube will be inserted through your nostril or mouth and down into your stomach by the Doctor or Nurse. This can be a little uncomfortable, but a combination of anaesthetic jelly and spray minimises the discomfort. If the test is too uncomfortable, tell the Doctor.

Once the tip of the tube has passed down the throat (swallowing as it goes down minimises the discomfort), the Doctor will watch the TV monitor to direct the tube into the first part of the duodenum. The Doctor may use some Maxalon (promotes peristalsis) which is introduced into the plastic tube or injected into a vein. The barium then goes down the tube into the small bowel. The Radiologist will take a series of X-ray pictures of the small bowel as the Entero C passes through. The Radiologist will ask you to hold your breath for each picture.

How will I feel after the test?

After the Radiologist has seen your X-rays and the test is completed, you can eat or drink normally. You will notice the barium in your bowel motions for the next few days. 

Your films will be sent to you or your Doctor, with a copy of the Radiologist's interpretation of the study.

After the examination

The radiologist will review the pictures and provide a written report to your referring doctor. 

Please settle your account on the day of the examination.

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment on 07-839 4909 or 0800 HAMRAD (0800 426723)

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Phone: (07) 839 4909
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