Estimated time: Two to three hours (exams are only scheduled in the afternoon.) Anatomy involved: Small intestine Performed by: Radiologist (physician)
An enteroclysis examination is a specialized study that allows radiographic visualization of the small intestine.
The preparation for an enteroclysis examination is as follows:
When you arrive in the Diagnostic Radiology Department, you will be asked to remove your clothing and change into a hospital gown. For the first part of the study, you will be seated on an X-ray table. The radiologist will spray the back of your throat with a local numbing medication, which will suppress your gag reflex. The radiologist will then pass a thin, soft, flexible tube through your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach. This tube will be lubricated with a special anesthetic type of gel, which will ease its passage. You will be asked to swallow as the tube goes down to help pass the tube into your stomach. You will then be asked to lie on your back on the X-ray table while the radiologist uses a specialized type of X-ray camera called a fluoroscope to visualize and manipulate the tube into position in the beginning of your small intestine. It may take the radiologist a little time to adjust the tube into the exact position for the examination. This is normal and should not cause any concern. A special pump will be used to infuse a barium and water solution slowly through the tube that has been placed in the beginning of the small intestine. The radiologist will monitor the progress of the administration of this solution through the small intestine by using a compression device, which will apply mild pressure on your abdomen. This will not hurt. The compression device enables the radiologist to better visualize different areas of your small intestine. When enough of the barium and water solution has been administered, the radiologist will take a series of X-rays. You will be asked to turn in various positions and hold your breath for a few seconds while the X-ray images are being obtained. The radiologist will then check the images, and if no additional X-rays are required, the tube will be removed from your intestine and the enteroclysis examination will be complete.
Some patients may experience slight cramping and/or mild diarrhea after the enteroclysis examination. This is normal and should not be a cause for concern. If you encounter any problem in following these instructions, or if a situation arises that is not covered above, please call your Lahey Clinic physician at 781-744-5100.