Tags: barium enema | colon | X-ray | dangerous | polyps

Is a Barium Enema Dangerous?

Monday, 28 April 2014 01:00 AM

An X-ray, conducted for the large intestine, constituting the colon and rectum is called a barium enema. A barium enema X-ray test is conducted for a few reasons:
  • To check for colon cancer
  • To diagnose Cohn’s disease
  • To diagnose constipation or blood in stools
In a barium enema, there is hardly any exposure to radiation, which makes it less dangerous. An X-ray is used but that only generates a small amount of radiation so that an image can be produced. Experts who conduct the barium enema are of the opinion that the risks of it being dangerous are low, when it comes to the results it provides. X-rays are dangerous for pregnant women and children. The most serious, but highly rare, risk is that of a perforated colon.

What are Colon Polyps?

Any growth that occurs on the inner linings of the colon and grow into the colon are colon polyps. Colon polyps occur when the cells that line the colon become abnormal. Polyps can occur after birth or even from birth. Colon polyps can be very dangerous.
The type of polyps decides whether or not a patient will develop further polyps and get colon cancer. The abnormal cells start to divide and reproduce more cells thereby creating larger polyps. An endoscope can be used to remove the polyps. It can then be decided whether or not these polyps are dangerous and contain cancer. The screening for polyps can be done using various methods.
X-ray for Barium Enema

An X-ray is used for barium enemas so that the bowel can be highlighted. A radiologist or a radiographer will conduct this X-ray for the barium enema. A white liquid is passed into the bowel during barium enema so that the bowel is clear on the X-ray. Normally, this X-ray is not dangerous as radiations generated are low.

Is Barium Enema Dangerous?

During the X-ray of a barium enema, barium stays in the colon causing it to harden and that leads to constipation. This can also be dangerous as it can lead to inflammation of the colon wall. It can also lead to a perforated bowel.
Another reason why this is dangerous is that the colon may split open due to the pressure of barium and leave its contents in the abdomen. This procedure is dangerous for people suffering from Crohn’s disease.

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A barium enema is conducted to check if a person is suffering from colon cancer or some other problem. An X-ray is also conducted during this procedure. Overall, this is not a dangerous procedure when compared to the kind of results it generates.
barium enema, colon, X-ray, dangerous, polyps
Monday, 28 April 2014 01:00 AM
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