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Points to Remember: Lower GI Series

Other Diseases By Ariba Khaliq , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Jan 17, 2013
Points to Remember: Lower GI Series

A lower gastrointestinal (GI) series uses x rays to help diagnose problems of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. It can detect polyps, diverticula, cancerous growths, and other problems.

A lower gastrointestinal (GI) series, also called a barium enema, is an x-ray exam used to help diagnose problems of the large intestine. This examination evaluates the right or ascending colon, the transverse colon, the left or descending colon, the sigmoid colon and the rectum. The appendix and a portion of the distal small intestine may also be included.

A lower GI series can help diagnose the cause of
:
– abdominal pain
– bleeding from the anus
– changes in bowel habits
– chronic diarrhoea
– unexplained weight loss

A person prepares for a lower GI series by:
– talking with a health care provider
– cleansing the bowel

Lower GI Series

The health care provider orders bowel prep so that little to no stool is present inside the person’s intestine.

People should call their health care provider if they are having side effects that make them feel they can’t finish the prep.

An x-ray technician and a radiologist perform a lower GI series at a hospital or an outpatient centre. A person does not need anaesthesia. The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes.

After a lower GI series, a person can expect the following:
– abdominal cramps and bloating that may occur for a short time after the procedure
– to resume most normal activities after leaving the hospital or outpatient centre
– barium in the large intestine that causes stools to be white or light coloured for several days after the procedure5 Lower GI Series

People who have any of the following symptoms after a lower GI series should seek immediate medical attention:
– severe abdominal pain
– bloody bowel movements or bleeding from the anus
– inability to pass gas
– fever
– severe constipation

People who have any of the following symptoms after a lower GI series should seek immediate medical attention:
– severe abdominal pain
– bloody bowel movements or bleeding from the anus
– inability to pass gas
– fever
– severe constipation

The equipment typically used for lower GI series consists of a radiographic table, one or two x-ray tubes and a television-like monitor that is located in the examining room. Fluoroscopy, which converts x-rays into video images, is used to watch and guide progress of the procedure. The video is produced by the x-ray machine and a detector that is suspended over a table on which the patient lies.

Image Courtesy: Getty

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