A contrast enema is a radiology test that helps to visualize the inside of the colon. Children who have gone through ostomy and malformation repair surgeries are at higher risk for developing constipation, because the nerves and muscles in their colon may not function normally. Contrast enemas are often used to help determine the extent of the problem and plan for treatment. They can give a sense of how slow or fast the colon is moving.
Before a contrast enema, patients should NOT clean their colon. Doctors need to see how severe the constipation is and if there is fecal impaction – a condition that occurs when stool becomes stuck inside the colon. The treatment team will also observe how your child empties their colon after the study.