Murray Calloway County Hospital

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Exam Information

Barium Enema Exam

What is a Barium Enema?
A barium enema is a diagnostic procedure that uses a contrast agent called barium and x-rays to obtain pictures of your lower gastrointestinal tract. If you are receiving an air contrast barium enema, air will also be used as a second contrast agent. These exams can detect problems within your lower digestive system, including the large intestine (large bowel), colon and rectum. The exam can help your doctor identify problems with minimal risk and discomfort to you. 
 
How Do I Prepare for the Exam?
Your doctor will provide you with instructions for preparing for the examination; or you can pick up instructions at the Radiology Department. Two or three days before the exam, you will be instructed to eat a "low residue" diet consisting of liquids, low-fat and finely-crushed foods.

You will be asked to drink only clear liquids the night before the exam and to refrain from drinking or eating anything after midnight the night before the exam.

Your doctor will prescribe a strong laxative to clear your lower tract the day before the exam. For the exam to be successful, your lower digestive tract must be completely empty.

You must have registered in the hospital computer before the exam can be done. You should first report to Registration thirty minutes before your scheduled exam. If you pre-registered, you may go directly to the radiology department on the hospital's first floor.

What Will the Exam Be Like?
The barium enema will be performed by a radiologist , with the help of a Registered  Technologist. These professionals specialize in the study of imaging tests  to assure the most accurate results for your exam.

When you arrive for your test, you will change into a hospital gown. Your technologist will gently position you on a special tilting table attached to a fluoroscope (an x-ray machine combined with a television screen). As you lie on your side, a lubricated enema tip will be inserted into your rectum and after calling the Radiologist in,  a liquid barium mixture will be released and will fill your colon as the Dr. watches on a fluoroscopic TV..

(For air contrast barium enemas, air will also be released into the colon along with the barium.) As the barium fills your colon, you may feel like you need to move your bowel. Slow, deep breathing will aid in the filling and minimize cramping during the test.  The filming will take  about 5-6 minutes. You will be asked to turn from side to side and hold several different positions. After the series of x-rays is completed, you will go to the bathroom to expel the barium. You will have an additional x-ray taken after the barium has been expelled. 

What Happens After the Exam?
After the exam, you may be free to return to your normal activities and usual diet unless told otherwise by your physician. It is normal for the barium to give a whitish color to your stool for a day or two.

Barium may cause constipation. You will need to increase your water intake and maybe take a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia. If you have trouble with constipation normally, you should consult your physician.

After your study is completed, the radiologist will interpret your films and send a written report to your physician.

Important Information
Inform the technologist if you may be pregnant. If there is a possibility of pregnancy, a pregnancy test will be ordered before the exam.

If you have questions about your bill, please call our business office at (270) 762-1296. The radiologist's bill is separate from the hospital's. If you have questions regarding your bill from the radiologist, please call (270) 762-1805.

Upper G.I. and/or Small Bowel Exams

What is an Upper G.I. Exam?
An upper G.I. examination is a diagnostic procedure that uses a contrast agent called barium and x-rays to obtain clear pictures of your upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach and small intestine (small bowel). The upper G.I. can detect problems with your upper digestive system. This procedure helps your doctor identify these problems with minimal risk and discomfort to you.

How Do I Prepare for the Exam
To prepare for the upper G.I., you will be asked not to eat or drink anything, including chewing gum, for eight to 12 hours before the exam so your stomach and upper tract are completely empty. You may brush your teeth, but avoid swallowing any water. If you have questions about the preparation or procedure, please call your physician or Murray Hospital  Radiology Department at (270) 762-1919.

You must have registered in the hospital computer before the exam can be done. You should report to the Outpatient Registration area thirty minutes before your scheduled exam. If you have registered in advance, you may go directly to the Radiology (x-ray) Department on the hospital's first floor.

What Will the Exam Be Like?
The upper gastrointestinal (or UG.I) exam will be performed by a Radiologist with the assistance of a Registered Technologist and/or a Nurse. For this exam, you will change from your clothing into a hospital gown. A technologist will gently position you on a special tilting table with a fluoroscope (an x-ray machine combined with a television monitor). You will be asked to drink a liquid barium mixture while the radiologist watches the barium flow through your digestive tract. In addition, "spot films" will be taken of the areas your doctor wants to study. You will be asked to turn and hold several positions while these spot films and larger, additional x-rays are taken.

How Long Will the Exam Take?
Time will vary significantly, depending on the nature of the study and other factors. Average time for an upper G.I. is 30-40 minutes.

If you are also scheduled for small bowel x-rays, the time will be considerably longer. For small bowel x-rays, the barium you drink is followed through 22 feet of your small intestine by taking an abdominal x-ray every 30 minutes until the barium has reached the colon. This usually takes a minimum of 60 minutes. Everyone's digestive system is different, so your study may take longer or maybe less time.

What Happens after the Exam?
After the exam, you may be free to return to your normal activities and usual diet unless told otherwise by your physician. It is normal for the barium to give a whitish color to your stool for the next day or two.

Barium may cause constipation. You will need to increase your water intake and maybe take a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia. If you have trouble with constipation normally, you should consult your physician.

After your study is completed, the radiologist will interpret your films and send a written report to your physician.

Important Information
Inform the technologist if you may be pregnant. If there is a possibility of pregnancy, a pregnancy test can be ordered before the exam.

If you have questions about your bill, please call our business office at (270) 762-1296. The radiologist's bill is separate from the hospital's. If you have questions regarding your bill from the radiologist, please call 759-1805.

Upper G.I. and/or Small Bowel Exams

What is an Upper G.I. Exam?
An upper G.I. examination is a diagnostic procedure that uses a contrast agent called barium and x-rays to obtain clear pictures of your upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach and small intestine (small bowel). The upper G.I. can detect problems with your upper digestive system. This procedure helps your doctor identify these problems with minimal risk and discomfort to you.

How Do I Prepare for the Exam
To prepare for the upper G.I., you will be asked not to eat or drink anything, including chewing gum, for eight to 12 hours before the exam so your stomach and upper tract are completely empty. You may brush your teeth, but avoid swallowing any water. If you have questions about the preparation or procedure, please call your physician or Murray Hospital  Radiology Department at (270) 762-1919.

You must have registered in the hospital computer before the exam can be done. You should report to the Outpatient Registration area thirty minutes before your scheduled exam. If you have registered in advance, you may go directly to the Radiology (x-ray) Department on the hospital's first floor.

What Will the Exam Be Like?
The upper gastrointestinal (or UG.I) exam will be performed by a Radiologist with the assistance of a Registered Technologist and/or a Nurse. For this exam, you will change from your clothing into a hospital gown. A technologist will gently position you on a special tilting table with a fluoroscope (an x-ray machine combined with a television monitor). You will be asked to drink a liquid barium mixture while the radiologist watches the barium flow through your digestive tract. In addition, "spot films" will be taken of the areas your doctor wants to study. You will be asked to turn and hold several positions while these spot films and larger, additional x-rays are taken.

How Long Will the Exam Take?
Time will vary significantly, depending on the nature of the study and other factors. Average time for an upper G.I. is 30-40 minutes.

If you are also scheduled for small bowel x-rays, the time will be considerably longer. For small bowel x-rays, the barium you drink is followed through 22 feet of your small intestine by taking an abdominal x-ray every 30 minutes until the barium has reached the colon. This usually takes a minimum of 60 minutes. Everyone's digestive system is different, so your study may take longer or maybe less time.

What Happens after the Exam?
After the exam, you may be free to return to your normal activities and usual diet unless told otherwise by your physician. It is normal for the barium to give a whitish color to your stool for the next day or two.

Barium may cause constipation. You will need to increase your water intake and maybe take a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia. If you have trouble with constipation normally, you should consult your physician.

After your study is completed, the radiologist will interpret your films and send a written report to your physician.

Important Information
Inform the technologist if you may be pregnant. If there is a possibility of pregnancy, a pregnancy test can be ordered before the exam.

If you have questions about your bill, please call our business office at (270) 762-1296. The radiologist's bill is separate from the hospital's. If you have questions regarding your bill from the radiologist, please call 759-1805.

Gallbladder X-rays

Preparing for the Test
On the evening before your x-ray examination, eat a light supper containing fruit or fruit juice, coffee or tea with sugar but no milk or cream; vegetables cooked without fat or oil; bread with jelly. Do not eat meat. Fried foods are also forbidden.

After supper, do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum. Water, however, may be taken.

About 14 hours before the x-ray examination, swallow the tablets one at a time with water. Wait five minutes between each tablet. Your physician will tell you how many tablets to take or if he or she wants you to take the pills on two consecutive nights.

These tablets may cause abdominal cramping and/or diarrhea. This is normal.

Do not eat any breakfast on the morning of your exam. You may have liquids with sugar but no milk or cream. Report for the x-ray exam at the time directed by your physician.

If you have any questions, please call the radiology department at (270) 762-1919 or talk to your physician.

You must be registered in the hospital computer before the exam can be done.  You should report to registration thirty minutes before your scheduled exam. If you pre-registered, you may go directly to the Radiology Department on the hospital's first floor. 

What Will the Exam Be Like?
When you arrive for the exam, you will change into a hospital gown.

A technologist will then position you on a special x-ray table and take several different views of your gallbladder. You will not have to drink anything for this test. After the films are taken, the radiologist will interpret your study and send a written report to your physician.

Important Information
Inform the technologist if you may be pregnant. If there is a possibility of pregnancy, a pregnancy test will be ordered before the exam.

If you have questions about your bill, please call our business office at (270) 762-1296. The radiologist's bill is separate from the hospital's. If you have questions regarding your bill from the radiologist, please call (270) 759-1805.

 
  MCCH

Murray-Calloway County Hospital
803 Poplar Street
Murray, KY  42071
(270) 762-1100

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