I just had one of these on Friday. For me, they took an x-ray of my abdomen, then had me drink two cups of barium, then took another x-ray. I was then x-rayed about
every fifteen minutes or so, so they could chart the progress of the solution through my small bowel. Took about
3 & 1/2 hours for me, the last 30 minutes of which they had me walking the building's halls between x-rays to speed up the barium's movement.
Overall pretty painless (for me at least). The barium doesn't taste good by any stretch, but as far as these things go it could be worse. I'd definately bring a book or something to read though as it can be pretty boring just sitting and waiting for the next x-ray.
As far as side effects go, I did have some stomach cramps to begin the day on Saturday, but they subsided for me once I was able to use the bathroom.
My understanding is that 2-5 hours is the general amount of time the barium takes to travel through to your colon.
Post Edited (atxbomber) : 9/30/2007 6:25:48 AM (GMT-6)