Defecography is a spezial X-ray exam to evaluate functional disorders of the rectum (lower bowel), that are not evident by direct visualization or other exams
- Chronic constipation mainly with troubles to emty the rectum (e.g. small amountsof stool many times a day, feeling of incomplete emptying, etc.)
- Fecal incontinence (involuntary stools)
The exam is performed under almost physiologic conditions to get a reasonable result. There is no special preparation required because the rectum is usually empty. The rectum is filled up with 300cm³ barium-sulfate-paste, which has a similar consistency to fecal material. Defecography is an imaging study carried out with fluoroscopy and recorded for further evaluation. The patient will be asked to rest, squeeze and strain certain muscles and then defecate the rectal paste (move your bowels) while sequential pictures are taken.
The following is a list of conditions for which Defecography can be used to gather more information and/or confirm a diagnosis.
- Intussusception, internal prolaps, rectal prolapse, obstructed defecation, Solitary rectal ulcer, rectocele, anismus (inappropriate spasm of the anal sphincter), paradox contraction of the puborectal muscle during emptying
- Fecal incontinence