I need to have a barium enema test and I'm wondering what kind of prep other people have done for this. I asked the scheduler at the hospital about it and she checked with a manager who said just have nothing by mouth after midnight.

Is that what other people have done?

I would think that I'd need to go on a liquid diet the day before at least. I just had a pouchoscopy and did the Miralax prep and, honestly, I did not do a great job since I was still passing a little stool in the morning.

I will call my doctor to confirm but I want to see what others have been told about the prep for this kind of test.

Oh, and if you have horror stories about this test, don't tell me. I'm already nervous. 



Original Post

I think this would normally be called a pouchogram. Make sure they don’t try to put a whole colon’s worth of barium into you. A J-pouch holds about 10 ounces of fluid. It’s possible that they might want some in the ileum, too, but if so they should be able to say words like that.

Sunflower, I had to do clear liquid diet 24 hrs before mine. Then nothing by mouth after midnight the night before the test. The X-ray really isn't a big deal. It's a bit uncomfortable in the embarrassment level, but I think most of us are pretty used to this sort of thing. If you are concerned that you won't be cleared out, do the liquids the day before. As long as you stay hydrated, you will be fine. Good luck.


Ok, so I decided not to get this test done at the local hospital because clearly the scheduling person who has been there forever had never heard of a j-pouch, which means that they must never get any experience with j-pouchers. I'm petrified of the tech doing something wrong and endangering all this expert handiwork inside me. 

So, I'm going to reschedule for a place where they actually do the j-pouch surgery. That way, I'm sure that the radiology department experienced with j-pouch patients. 

I had this test done before take down, but it was at the major hospital where I had my surgery and I did it on the same day as a bunch of other tests. It seems like it's not common to do it after take down like I'm having. But my doctor said it's a  way to see scar tissue and what's going on. The doctor says this will help her understand why I'm having difficulty emptying the pouch.

If anyone else has had this test post take-down, let me know what prep you did. 


It’s more common to do a defecogram than a pouchogram to figure out emptying difficulties. Both involve squirting contrast medium in rectally, which is the “barium enema” part, but the defecogram observes the actual attempt to empty the pouch. It’s sometimes the only way to see a pouch prolapse. It might be best to know which test is planned, or even to ask your doctor if she’s ordering a defecogram.

It's been 25 years since I had a defecogram to try to figure out why I was having trouble emptying. I don't remember what prep was involved but I didn't get an answer from the results. After further research figured  out I have a rectacele.  I don't know why it never caused any problems before my surgery. 

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