A defecagram is an examination of the rectum performed for the purpose of diagnosing a tear or source of incontinence.

How do I prepare for the exam?

A cleansing enema or rectal suppository will be used the evening before as well as early on the morning of the procedure.

What can I expect during the exam?

This exam is conducted by a radiologic technologist and a radiologist.

You will lie on a special examination table that allows live x-rays to be taken, over a portable toilet seat. The table will be moved into a horizontal position and the technologist will insert the enema tip into the rectum. A thick barium paste will be inserted through this tube. The paste will create a feeling of fullness, but you should resist the urge to have a bowel movement.

The table will be moved back into a vertical position, so you are in a sitting position on the toilet seat. While being viewed under fluoroscopy, the radiologist will periodically ask you to bear down/push until the rectum is emptied of the barium paste.

The exam will take about one hour.

What can I expect after the exam?

Unless your physician tells you otherwise, you may resume your normal activities after your exam.