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Anorectal Physiology Endorectal Ultrasound

Anorectal physiology testing is used to assess anal and rectal function in patients presenting with symptoms of faecal incontinence. It is sometimes used in patients having difficulty defaecating. Testing is performed on outpatients and no preparation, sedation or anaesthesia is required. Tiny hollow tubes are inserted into the anus and used to measure the pressures in the rectum and anus. During testing, patients may be asked to cough, strain or squeeze in order to measure the response of the anal muscles to such manoeuvres. Other tests such as pudendal nerve assessment and rectal balloon filling may be performed. Your specialist will interpret the test results to help understand the cause and severity of your problem. Endoanal ultrasound is performed to assess rectal tumours, anal fistulas or the anal sphincter muscle. It is usually performed in the office without the need for sedation or anaesthesia. Some patients may require an enema prior to the test. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the anus. This provides detailed images of the rectal and anal wall. The test may take 5-15 minutes.

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