If you are scheduled to undergo ileostomy reversal surgery, your doctor may recommend a barium enema before the procedure. This diagnostic test can help your surgeon better visualize your colon and rectum, and ensure that your bowel is functioning properly before the reversal.
What is a Barium Enema?
A barium enema is a diagnostic test that uses X-rays and a contrast dye called barium to create images of the colon and rectum. During the test, the barium is inserted into your rectum through a tube, and then X-rays are taken to capture images of your bowel.
Why is a Barium Enema Necessary Before Ileostomy Reversal?
Before undergoing ileostomy reversal surgery, it is important for your surgeon to ensure that your bowel is functioning properly. A barium enema can help identify any blockages, obstructions, or other issues that may affect the success of the surgery.
Preparing for a Barium Enema
Before your barium enema, your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare. This may include following a special diet, taking laxatives, or using an enema to cleanse your bowel.
During the barium enema procedure, you will lie on an X-ray table while the barium is inserted into your rectum through a tube. You may be asked to move into different positions to help the barium coat the inside of your bowel. X-rays will be taken throughout the procedure to capture images of your colon and rectum.
What to Expect After a Barium Enema
After the barium enema, you may experience some discomfort, cramping, or bloating. You may also notice that your stool is white or light-colored for a few days, due to the presence of the barium in your bowel.
Risks and Complications
Like any medical procedure, a barium enema carries some risks and potential complications. These may include allergic reactions to the barium, bowel perforation, or radiation exposure.
If you are scheduled to undergo ileostomy reversal surgery, your doctor may recommend a barium enema beforehand to ensure that your bowel is functioning properly. While the procedure may cause some discomfort, it can provide valuable information that can help your surgeon achieve a successful outcome. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to prepare for the test and reduce the risk of complications.