Colon and Rectal Diagnostics & Testing
How colon and rectal problems are detected and diagnosed
We diagnose and treat a wide range of colon and rectal conditions, including colon cancer, fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids and many others.
Our specialists use a number of tests to evaluate and diagnose problems. Some of the most common tests are:
- Anal manometry – measures the pressure inside the rectum and is most commonly used to evaluate patients with constipation or fecal incontinence. A tube with a balloon is inserted into the rectum and slowly inflated to different sizes. The tube is connected to a computer that records how well the muscles around the anus are working.
- Colonoscopy – a procedure performed to examine the large intestine for disease, most commonly colorectal cancer. Everyone age 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer. When performing a colonoscopy, the doctor uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and a light on the end to view the entire colon and rectum and check for polyps, inflammatory changes or cancer. If polyps are found, they often can be removed during this procedure.
- Colorectal cancer risk analysis – used to help estimate the risk of developing colorectal cancer
- Defecography or evacuation proctography – uses an X-ray to show how the rectum works during a bowel movement
- Electromyography (EMG) – used to test if the anal muscle (sphincter) and nerves are working right. A small device called an electrode is inserted into the rectum. A computer then records sphincter muscle electrical activity.
- Pudendal nerve terminal motor latency – helps determine if the nerve inside the rectum is working correctly. During the test, a doctor does a rectal exam with a small electrode taped to his or her index finger. A low electrical current is used to stimulate the nerve inside the rectum and a computer measures how long it takes for the muscle to contract.
- SITZMARKS® colon motility test – determines how well the colon is working. A capsule containing tiny rings is swallowed. Several days later, the doctor will take an X-ray of the belly to see where the rings are and how many are left.