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Colorectal Diagnostics FAQ

Testing take place at the John Flynn Private Hospital on the Gold Coast, and St Andrews War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane.

In preparation for your tests, you may require an enema beforehand. This is to make sure your anus and rectum are completely empty for the procedures. Not everyone will require this.

You will have recently attended a consultation with a Colorectal Surgeon or an outpatient appointment to discuss problems you may be having with faecal incontinence, constipation, childbirth injuries or other bowel problems.

Your consultant has requested these tests so that they can establish exactly what is causing your particular problem. The results of these tests will offer them the most appropriate treatment.

Endoanal Ultrasound

Endoanal Ultrasound or “Anorectal” Ultrasound is a procedure using ultrasound scanning to see the conditions of the anus or rectum. The procedure involves an ultrasound probe being inserted into your anus or “back passage” and pictures taken by the doctor of your anus and rectum of any damage caused by injury or by diseases such as cancers or colitis. The Colorectal Diagnostics Centre at John Flynn Hospital uses Ultrasound scanning. The images taken by our machine can be viewed in all directions to allow your doctor the best possible view. The procedure may be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful and it should last no longer than 5 minutes.

Pudendal Nerve Study

The “pudendal nerves” are the nerves that control the muscles of your anus and the anal and bladder sphincters. These nerves can be damaged during child birth, during surgery (such as cancer surgery) or just simply not work properly. A Pudendal Nerve Study uses a computer to send a signal to the nerves and measure their reactions. This procedure involves the doctor inserting a very small electrode using his/her finger and then recording the results. You may feel a small “bump” sensation, and you will be asked to tell the Specialist when you feel it. It should not hurt, and the whole procedure takes no more than 5 minutes.

Manometry Study

This test involves a very thin and delicate catheter inserted into the anus to record the pressure in the anus and rectum. At first it will be inserted and left in there for about 3 minutes while the machine records the findings. Then you will be asked by the doctor to do some things (such as squeeze your muscles tightly or cough) to see the changes in the pressures. This will take another 3 minutes or so. This procedure may be uncomfortable at times but should not be painful.