Evacuation Proctogram (Defecography)

Your doctor has requested an imaging study called an evacuation proctogram (also known as defecography). This study is used to help diagnose a wide range of pelvic floor problems, such as: anal or pelvic pain, difficult defecation, sensation of incomplete emptying, constant sensation of a full rectum, constipation, feeling of something coming out of the anus or vagina as you strain, and leakage of stool. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by John Bray, MD, who specializes in this procedure.

Before Arriving For Your Procedure

  • No special preparation is necessary for this procedure.
  • Because you will be asked to change into a hospital gown, please wear clothing that is easy for you to remove and put back on.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, a magazine or a music player to help pass the time while you are waiting.
  • Most insurance companies do not cover this procedure. This means that you must pay for the exam when you come to the imaging center. If you have questions about the billing of this procedure, please call us at 310-423-8000.

After Arriving for Your Procedure

  • Before your exam, you will speak with one of our imaging physicians, who will discuss your symptoms and the procedure with you. Our physician will also answer any questions you may have.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be taken to a private room and asked to change into a hospital gown.
  • Thirty minutes before your exam you will be asked to drink 6 ounces of barium, a material that allows the imaging physician to see the details of your intestines.
  • You will be taken to an examination room, and asked to lie on your side on an exam table. The physician will inject a barium paste — about the consistency of toothpaste — through a tube into your rectum.
  • You will then be asked to sit on a special toilet, which will allow images to be taken during the process of defecation. Images and video will be taken with a fluoroscope, a type of moving-picture X-ray.
  • During the procedure you will be asked to pinch up the rectum, cough, strain and finally evacuate.
  • The exam takes approximately one hour.

After Your Procedure

  • Drink plenty of liquid for 24-48 hours. The barium may make your stool white for several days.
  • Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
For more information or to schedule an appointment