Small Bowel Enema

Small Bowel Enema

Small Bowel Enema


To evaluate the small bowel which is the approximately 20 feet of intestine between the stomach and large bowel.

Common indications include diarrhoea, abdominal pain or unexplained blood loss.


You should not eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to your examination.


This examination may take anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour. A local anaesthetic jelly is introduced into one of the nostrils and the throat is sprayed with an anaesthetic spray. A thin flexible tube is then introduced into a nostril and the patient asked to swallow so that the tube enters the oesophagus. The Radiologist will then manipulate the tube so that it passes through the stomach and into the small bowel.

Although there may some discomfort during the passage of the tube this usually only takes a few minutes and once the tube is in position the procedure thereafter is relatively free of discomfort. Once the tube has been positioned, Barium flows through the tube and into the small bowel with films being taken at intervals during its passage towards the large bowel. Further films will be taken of specific areas as required.

After Procedure

There should be no significant post-procedure discomfort although some patients experience a sensation of bloating.

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