Gastrointestinal Radiology > Procedures > Defecography > Defecography (4)

Defecography (cont.)

Patient Preparation

  • Colon preparation is the same as for a barium enema - except that no rectal suppository is used on the day of the exam. Cleansing enemas or suppositories are contraindicated because they may produce rectal irritation and spasm.
  • The patient is given 300 ml of thin barium sulfate to drink one hour before the defecography examination. Opacification of the pelvic small bowel makes enteroceles more recognizable.
  • Some radiologists have female patients insert a barium saturated tampon into the vagina to mark its location; however, a tampon can act as a pelvic strut and limit movement to the anterior rectal wall. Thus, many practitioners now use either liquid barium or a sterile vaginal gel mixed with water-soluble contrast medium as a vaginal marker. Loss of vaginal contrast agent is reduced by placing a folded gauze square in the introitus.

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