Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I learned yesterday though a convoluted conversation that there is such a thing as "defecography". Don't ask how we got to it... Don't even ask what it is...

Defecography is a test used to evaluate the disorders of the lower bowel that are not evident by direct visualization. Radiologic liquid is instilled into the rectum. Then the patient is instructed to empty the rectum while a fluoroscopic exam of the pelvis is carried out. This radiologic test allows the doctor to evaluate the pelvic floor muscles and rectum during defecation. This type of test, although awkward, provides valuable information that will aide your doctor in diagnosing your problem.

The following is a list of conditions for which Defecography can be used to gather more information and/or confirm a diagnosis.

-Rectal prolapse, irritable bowel syndrome, obstructed defecation
-Solitary rectal ulcer, proctalgia, fugax,a rectocele/enterocele
-Fecal incontinence, internal prolapse, constipation
-Rectal/anal intussusception anismus (inappropriate spasm of the anal sphincter)
(UMHS website)

Apparently the "liquid" they use for this test is the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Thank god I'm an anesthesiologist. I'm glad on the other end of the patient.


Anonymous said...

Very retro...with all are tech stuff we are still interested in poo. I live accross from a park, and the dogs agree that this is pretty interesting. I bet their noses beat our technology, however...

Dawn said...

Ick. I don't care if there is some medical necessity to do that, it's so gross. The things you know....
By the way, look at your visitor count, you have a popular site. Cool.

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