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For Kids: The Contrast Enema Test

What is a contrast enema test?

Your doctor has scheduled a test called the “contrast enema” to look at your large intestine. The large intestine holds poop before it is ready to leave the body. Sometimes poop builds up and causes constipation, which is when your poop gets hard and then it hurts to get it out.

When you and your parents get to Children’s Colorado, you will do the following steps:

  1. Check in at the admission's desk: Here you will be given a bracelet with your name and medical record number. Many hospital workers will be looking at your bracelet throughout the day to make sure you are getting the right test.
  2. Go to the radiology area: Once you have your bracelet, you will go to a place called radiology. Radiology is where we take pictures/X-rays to see how the inside of your body is working. While you are in this area you will meet a Children's Colorado child life specialist who will talk to you about your test and answer any questions you may have. The child life specialist will stay with you the whole time to help you during the test.
  3. Go to the Fluoroscopy room: This is the room where you will have your test.
  4. Meet your team: You will meet the technologist who will help you while pictures are taken and the doctor. They will go over the test with you and answer your questions.
  5. Change clothes: You will go into the restroom to change your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You will also need to take off all your clothes including your shoes, socks and underwear. The gown ties in the back.
  6. Lay down on the table: When you are dressed in the gown, you will be asked to lie down on your back on the X-ray table -- this is where your doctor will take the picture.
  7. Lie on your side: The doctor will ask you to lie on your side with one leg straight and the other leg bent over it. This will make it easy to put the tube in your bottom.
  8. Putting in the tube: A tube will slide into your bottom where poop comes out. When it slides in, take a nice big breath or blow on a pinwheel — this helps it slide in easily.
  9. Putting in the contrast: Contrast is special fluid that lets the doctor see inside your body. When the contrast goes in, you can watch a cartoon, movie, or play on the iPad.
  10. Roll on your sides: The doctor will have you roll from side to side so the contrast goes in all the right places.
  11. Take a deep breath: When we are almost done taking pictures, you will begin to feel some discomfort. This pressure may make your stomach hurt. Take some big deep breaths or blow on the pinwheel again. We just need to take a few more pictures.
  12. Release the contrast: When we drop the bag the contrast will begin to come out. This will make you feel much better!
  13. Take the tube out: The doctor will have you roll to your side and take the tube out. It will slide right out.
  14. Go to the bathroom: Now you can go to the bathroom to go poop. The contrast helps the poop come out.
  15. One more picture: After you poop, you will have one more picture taken.
  16. All done! You did it! Your test is finished.
  17. Get dressed: After you get dressed in your own clothes, it’s time to go home.