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Doctor insights on: Barium Enema Vs Colonoscopy

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What is the difference between a barium enema test and a colonoscopy?

What is the difference between a barium enema test and a colonoscopy?

One uses xrays: barium enem is putting a fluid in your rectum and taking xrays by a radiologist. a gi doctor looks at the inside of your colon using a long scope to diagnose issues and can biopsy a lesion at the same time ...Read more

Barium (Definition)

Barium is a chemical element with symbol ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Because of its high chemical reactivity barium is never found in nature as a free element. Its hydroxide was known in pre-modern history as baryta; this substance does not occur as a mineral, but can be prepared ...Read more


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What kind of prep is needed for a barium enema as opposed to a colonoscopy?

Ask the provider: Each provider may have their own prep. Here is a link that may answer more of your questions. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=lowergi ...Read more

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What is the difference between an air contrast barium enema and a colonoscopy?

What is the difference between an air contrast barium enema and a colonoscopy?

Imaging vs looking: A Barium Enema is performed by a radiologist by flowing contrast solution into the colon and then taking x-rays of the abdomen after the lining of the intestine has been coated. Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is performed by a gastroenterologist who uses a flexible scope and camera to look directly into the colon at the intestinal lining. ...Read more

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What is difference between colonoscopy and barium enema in terms of information?

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. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a double contrast barium enema and a colonoscopy?

What is the difference between a double contrast barium enema and a colonoscopy?

Imaging vs looking: A Barium Enema is performed by a radiologist by flowing contrast solution into the colon and then taking x-rays of the abdomen after the lining of the intestine has been coated. Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is performed by a gastroenterologist who uses a flexible scope and camera to look directly into the colon at the intestinal lining. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a colonoscopy and a double-contrast barium enema?

What is the difference between a colonoscopy and a double-contrast barium enema?

Imaging vs looking: A Barium Enema is performed by a radiologist by flowing contrast solution into the colon and then taking x-rays of the abdomen after the lining of the intestine has been coated. Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is performed by a gastroenterologist who uses a flexible scope and camera to look directly into the colon at the intestinal lining. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a colonoscopy and a barium enema X-ray?

What is the difference between a colonoscopy and a barium enema X-ray?

Imaging vs looking: A Barium Enema is performed by a radiologist by flowing contrast solution into the colon and then taking x-rays of the abdomen after the lining of the intestine has been coated. Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is performed by a gastroenterologist who uses a flexible scope and camera to look directly into the colon at the intestinal lining. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a barium enema and a virtual colonoscopy?

What is the difference between a barium enema and a virtual colonoscopy?

CT colonoscopy: is a CT scan with specific technical parameters. There is a bowel prep to clear out the colon, and a tube is placed into the rectum to fill the colon with air. A barium enema uses x-ray/fluoroscopy instead of CT. With a rectal tube, the colon is filled with barium and air, and the patient placed in different positions for viewing. Barium enema has been largely replaced by colonoscopy. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a virtual colonoscopy and a barium enema?

What is the difference between a virtual colonoscopy and a barium enema?

CT colonoscopy: is a CT scan with specific technical parameters. There is a bowel prep to clear out the colon, and a tube is placed into the rectum to fill the colon with air. A barium enema uses x-ray/fluoroscopy instead of CT. With a rectal tube, the colon is filled with barium and air, and the patient placed in different positions for viewing. Barium enema has been largely replaced by colonoscopy. ...Read more

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Had an incomplete colonoscopy due to a redundant colon. Going for a barium enema now . If polyps are discovered in that area how can they be removed?

Had an incomplete colonoscopy due to a redundant colon. Going for a barium enema now . If polyps are discovered in that area how can they be removed?

Options include:: ...A retry at colonoscopy under deeper sedation with altered technique and/or by a different physician. Surgery is another choice, appropriate to size, location, extent of polyps.. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a barium enema and a CT colonoscopy?

What is the difference between a barium enema and a CT colonoscopy?

A barium enema has: slightly more radiation exposure, requires you to flip and turn on the table until the radiologist is satisfied with the images, and in the end reveals slightly less information than the CT. The CT requires slightly less radiation exposure, allows you to lie flat on your back, and gives the radiologist more internal information. But a traditional colonoscopy is the first choice. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a CT colonoscopy and a barium enema?

CT colonoscopy: is a CT scan with specific technical parameters. There is a bowel prep to clear out the colon, and a tube is placed into the rectum to fill the colon with air. A barium enema uses x-ray/fluoroscopy instead of CT. With a rectal tube, the colon is filled with barium and air, and the patient placed in different positions for viewing. Barium enema has been largely replaced by colonoscopy. ...Read more

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Can bowel cancer be diagnosed through a barium enema and a colonoscopy? Help please?

Yes: Either or colonoscopy is the best tool accuracy more than 95% barium enema use to be the tool but the accuracy and false positive and negative are not enough to depend on colonoscopy can discover polyps too small to be seen by barium enema and can have it removed at the same time. ...Read more

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My last barium enema test was somewhat tramautic, painful. Can I insist on a colonoskpy at this county hosp. Instead?

My last barium enema test was somewhat tramautic, painful.  Can I insist on a colonoskpy at this county hosp. Instead?

Colon screening: Many health insurance plans include a benefit for screening colonoscopy; check with your insurer. Colonoscopy has advantages over barium enema, mainly in your case, that you are sedated and able to sleep through the test without significant discomfort. Colonoscopy can also allow the removal of precancerous lesions and identify flat or depressed spots that may be problem. ...Read more

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What are the common reasons for a barium enema?

Cancer/Infection: Typically, a barium enema is performed to evaluate the colon for cancer, infection, inflammatory diseases. It can be requested when a colonoscopy is incomplete or not able to be performed. See: http://www.Webmd.Com/colorectal-cancer/barium-enema. ...Read more

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Will barium enema be uncomfortable?

Will barium enema be uncomfortable?

Be: Yes. It usually is a little uncomfortable but does not last too long. ...Read more

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Is a barium enema an uncomfortable procedure?

Barium enema: It is painful, and usually useless except for verymspecific circumstances. If you primary ordered it, see a, gastroenterologist. They miss 50% of polyps, and 15% of cancers. ...Read more

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Can one get injured during a barium enema test?

Yes, rarely: Rare cases of rectal perforation with the enema tip are known to occur. If there is a weakness of the colon wall from a prior surgical repair there may be leakage of the barium outside of the colon. If we know of such risks we will often start the procedure with water soluble contrast which is less trublesome for leakage but less adequate for imaging. ...Read more

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Does it hurt to have a barium enema and endoscopy?

Does it hurt to have a barium enema and endoscopy?

Not usually: There may be some mild discomfort but not real pain with either procedure. ...Read more

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What is the difference bewteen a proctogram and barium enema?

very different: During a proctogram, your doctor inserts a tube through the anus into the rectum and looks through the tube. A barium enema is done by inserting a tube in a similar fashion but then filling the colon with barium and watching under x ray to look at the outline of the colon. ...Read more

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What is generally performed first: a barium enema or a myelography?

Totally different!: These investigations are for totally different systems: a barium enema is to evaluate the architecture of the colon (AKA large intestine). Myelography is kind of an older type of evaluation of the spinal fluid and fluid around the brain. ...Read more

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How uncomfortable is a barium enema and are there any alternatives?

How uncomfortable is a barium enema and are there any alternatives?

Moderately: Be is moderately uncomfortable. Colonoscopy is an alternative, but the 2 studies are complementary, not substitutes for one another. ...Read more

Dr. Charles Cattano
2,024 doctors shared insights

Colonoscopy (Definition)

Colonoscopy is the procedure of using a long flexible camera to visualize the entire colon from the inside with the option to take pictures, video, perform biopsies, remove polyps, etc. Generally people are sedated and do ...Read more


Enema (Definition)

An enema is the introduction of liquid into the rectum to evacuate the bowels[ principly the colon/ large ...Read more