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Doctor insights on: Is There A Difference Between A Barium Swallow And A Barium Enema

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Is there a difference between a barium swallow and a barium enema?

Is there a difference between a barium swallow and a barium enema?

Location, location: Barium swallow is what it sounds like: swallow barium, shows up on xray film; looks at esophagus, stomach, upper small bowel (duodenum) if done as upper GI series. No prep, empty stomach. Barium enema looks at the colon (not so good for the rectum). After prep to clean colon, barium (with or without air for contrast) pumped into colon to get an outline on xray. ...Read more

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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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I've had 3 barium enema and 3 barium swallows in 12 years I'm 38 and so scared I'll now get cancer from to much radiation, please help ease my fears?

I've had 3 barium enema and 3 barium swallows in 12 years I'm 38 and so scared I'll now get cancer from to much radiation, please help ease my fears?

Stop worrying: The risk of x-rays is cumulative and depends at what age the exposure took place. The younger you are when exposed the greater the risk. Your chance of having additional risk of cancer from your studies is 1 in 307. Which is a 0.325705% chance of cancer from your X-Rays. To put it another way you have a 99.674295% chance of having NO additional cancer from the x-rays. SEE http://bit.ly/1KPfIEg ...Read more

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What is the difference between a barium enema and a barium meal?

What is the difference between a barium enema and a barium meal?

Route: A barium meal is for coating the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel and taken orally. A barium enema is for coating the colon and instilled rectally. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a barium enema and a sigmoidoscopy?

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 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 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

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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 barium swallow and a modified barium swallow?

Area of interest: The terms are often interchanged though do have differences in medical billing and exact procedure type. A barium swallow is often synonymous with an esophagram to look at the whole of the esophagus. A 'modified barium swallow' is usually performed in conjunction with a Speech Pathologist and is specifically looking at the swallowing mechanism of the mouth and oral phaynx to the upper esophagus. ...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 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

Enema (Definition)

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


Dr. Walter Husar
95 doctors shared insights

Barium Enema (Definition)

Barium enema is a special x-ray of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. Feel ...Read more