What is a Defecography?

Defecography (also known as Dynamic Cystoproctography) is an X-ray test that shows the rectum, bladder and anal canal as they change during defecation or bowel movement. This test is used to evaluate for disorders of the pelvic floor that are not evident by tests such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.

Defecography testing allows the doctor to visualize what occurs when you are emptying your rectum. This test may feel awkward but provides valuable information that will aid in diagnosing your problem.

Who needs a defecography?

Patients suffering from constipation, diarrhea, Solitary Rectal Ulcer syndrome (SRU), prolapses, rectoceles, cystoceles, or enteroceles and other pelvic floor disorders may be asked to have this procedure.

Why would a defecography be performed?

A defecography gives us important information on how the rectum empties and if there are any structural abnormalties. It can also tell us if there is:

  • Intussusception (falling inside itself ) of the rectum
  • Rectal prolapse (protrusion of the rectum)
  • Rectocele (bulging in the rectum)
  • Enterocele (falling of the bowels during evacuation)
  • Cystocele (bulging of the bladder)
  • Vaginal prolapse (protrusion of the vagina)

How do I prepare for this test?

If you are a woman, you should arrive 1 hour before the scheduled exam. Once you are here, you will be asked to drink 2 cups of barium solution and 2 cups of water. You will also be asked to change into a hospital gown. If you are a man, you can arrive at your scheduled appointment time.

How is it performed?

One hour after drinking the barium solution and water, the radiologist will fill the vagina (in women) and rectum with a barium paste. You will be sitting in an upright position on a commode. You will be asked to rest, squeeze, and strain certain muscles and then push the barium paste out while X-rays are being taken.

How is the remaining barium removed from the body once the test is completed?

If you suffer from incontinence, we will ask you to drink some extra fluids to remove the remaining barium. If you suffer from constipation, the diagnostic imaging technician will guide you on how to clean the barium. The diagnostic imaging technicians will offer you a sanitary pad to absorb any leaking barium from your rectum.

When will I get my results?

Your physician will most likely prefer to correlate these results with other diagnostic tests. A return visit at a future date may be scheduled to discuss your results.

For more information, call 253-985-6395.
To schedule an appointment, call 253-426-6620.

St. Clare Specialty Center
11307 Bridgeport Way S.W.
Lakewood, WA 98499