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Anorectal Physiology


The Pelvic Floor Center provides diagnosis, consultation and innovative care options for:

· Fecal and urinary incontinence
· Urinary retention and other voiding dysfunctions
· Chronic constipation
· Pelvic organ prolapse
· Rectal cancer

Although most of these disorders are not life threatening, these health issues affect a broad range of patients and can have a devastating effect on quality of life. 

We offer the following diagnostic anorectal physiology tests:

Anal Manometry - Measures the strength of the internal and external sphincters, coordination of the muscles of the pelvic floor, and assesses sensations in the rectum. Used to assess constipation, fecal incontinence, to rule out Hirschsprung’s and many other pelvic floor conditions. 

EMG recruitment - Assess patient’s ability to voluntarily contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles.  Used to assess relaxation of the pelvic floor in constipation.

Pudendal nerve EMG - Assesses conduction of the pudendal nerve.  Used primarily in diagnosis of cause of fecal incontinence but also in rectal prolapse and enterocele.

Rectal ultrasound - Images the layers of the rectal wall.  Used for staging of rectal tumors and also enlarged nodes.  Is also used for follow-up surveillance after treatment.  Advanced 3-D Ultrasound technology is also available.  Learn more.

Anal ultrasound - Images sphincters and tissues surrounding the anal canal.  Used to assess fecal incontinence, fistula, abscess, sphincter injury (post-delivery/surgery), and pain.  Learn more.
 
Cine Defecography - A test using fluoroscopy that evaluates rectal emptying and relaxation of the pelvic floor.  Visualizes rectocele, enterocele, and rectal prolapse.  

Biofeedback - (Pelvic Floor Muscle retraining) – can treat incontinence (fecal and urinary) as well as constipation caused by non-relaxation of the pelvic floor.  Sensors are used while a nurse coaches the patient to correctly exercise and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Learn more.