Anorectal Physiology Studies

These important physiological studies enable us to fully assess your bowel troubles, be it constipation, diarrhoea, leakage, or pain on passing a bowel motion. Performed expertly and with utmost respect for your privacy, rest assured you are in good hands.

At the QLD Pelvic Floor Centre we utilise state of the art equipment to perform anorectal manometry, EMG, pudendal nerve testing, and anorectal ultrasound as needed. This comprehensive panel of specialised tests is bulk-billed, at no cost to you, enabling every person to access the best of care.

What are these tests?

Anorectal physiology

The term “anorectal” refers to the anal canal and rectum – the parts of your bowel just inside your bottom. These tests assess the function of your rectum, pelvic floor muscles and sphincter muscles. They are very useful in people with incontinence, difficulty opening their bowels and in prolapse. They are also often useful in people with fissures and fistula.

You will be asked to remove your lower clothing and lie on your left side with your knees bent up to your chest. Firstly you will be examined with a gloved finger. Then a small probe will be placed into your anus (about the width of a pen). Your sphincter muscles will be tested by asking you to rest, squeeze and bear down or push. A small balloon attached to the probe will be inflated to test your sensation (feeling) as this can be abnormal.

Endo-anal Ultrasound

An ultrasound of the anal sphincter muscles can be performed by inserting a different probe (about the width of a finger) into your anus.

Electromyography

Some sticky pads are placed on the outside of your anus to assess whether your muscles are working correctly. You will be asked to squeeze and bear down during this test.

Preparation for the tests

The tests do not require sedation so you can drive yourself to and from the Qld PFC. Prior to having an anal procedure you will need to give yourself a microlax enema 1-2 hours prior to the procedure to ensure your rectum is empty. These can be obtained over the counter from any local pharmacy. After the tests you can continue your normal daily activities.

Risks of the procedure

These procedures are very safe. Some people find them slightly uncomfortable but they’re not normally painful. Complications are extremely rare. It’s possible that a perforation or bleeding in the rectum could occur. Equipment failure is a remote possibility.

During and after your consultation

Pelvic floor problems can be quite complex, and these tests can all contribute to providing our physiotherapists and specialists with important information related to the function of your bowel and pelvic floor. Our nurse practitioner has extensive experience in helping manage pelvic floor patients and can provide some initial advice and coordinate further care in our centre if necessary.

If you have questions during the consultation, please ask.

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Saturday: 8:00am – 1:00pm

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