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Glossary: barium enema, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

barium enema

(BAYR-ee-um EH-neh-muh)

A procedure in which a liquid that contains barium sulfate is put through the anus into the rectum and colon. Barium sulfate is a silver-white metallic compound that helps show pictures of the colon, rectum, and anus on an x-ray.

Barium enema procedure; shows barium liquid being put into the rectum and flowing through the colon.  Inset shows person on table having a barium enema.

Barium enema procedure. The patient lies on an x-ray table. Barium liquid is put into the rectum and flows through the colon. X-rays are taken to look for abnormal areas.