A 47-year-old member asked:
what is difference between colonoscopy and barium enema in terms of information?
2 doctor answers
Dr. Miguel Rodriguez answered
38 years experience Gastroenterology
Details: During a colonoscopy, it is possible to examine the colon in detail and obtain biopsies or remove the polyps if found. A barium enema, provides an image with relative low resolution. If something is found on the barium enema, a colonoscopy is necessary in order to determine what it is.
Answered on Jul 7, 2015
Dr. Donald Kim answered
36 years experience Colon and Rectal Surgery
Significant : Colonoscopy is a direct look at the lining of the colon vs an indirect x-ray shadow of a barium enema (be). If something is seen on a colonoscopy, it can be treated or biopsied. The be can miss things in the rectum and should include a flex sig to evaluate that area. You are sedated for a colonoscopy. No sedation for a be. Both are acceptable measures for colon cancer screening.
Answered on Nov 3, 2018
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