I had a Defecography in October. When I got to the hospital for the test I had to drink barium & wait another hour for it to get into my system.
I was called back into the patient area & the nurse explained the procedure to me. I cried in humiliation. I told her that I could not evacuate my bowels without supporting my perineum. She was extremely kind & understanding. She explained that is a common problem after a traumatic child birth (my last one 9lbs 13oz by forceps, broke my tail bone, both my son’s collar bones & I received didn’t receive repair stitching!), and a lot of women need to "splint" to have a BM. The nurse even offered to reschedule to a time I was better prepared emotionally to handle the testing; I told her no such time would ever exist--just get it over with.
I was handed a gown asked to completely disrobe. I was lead into the x-ray room & asked to climb up on the table & to lay on my right side. I laid on the x-ray quietly crying in humiliation as the male doctor came in. He also explained how common rectoceles are that they see this sort of thing all the time. He was very kind & understanding.
The doctor explained what he was going to do & proceeded to fill my rectum with barium paste & more in my vagina. A woman couldn't have forced the paste in. It's extremely thick & the male doctor was struggling & said so. At one point he hit an air pocket in the paste & it felt like an explosion in my rectum. The doctor apologized & said it’s difficult because of the consistency to get all the air out. Once all the barium was in place he slowly tipped the table up right while I was to crawl down to sit on a “toilet” attached to the end of the table.
I had to kegel, vasual maneuver (hold breath while applying pressure, but not push the barium out), & then push the paste out (like having a BM) on command while an x-ray video was recording. The doctor managed to distract me from my humiliation by showing me my rectocele & enterocele on the x-ray screen. When I pushed, my vagina was completely displaced forward! It was fascinating once I got past my embarrassment. It took 6 times of serious straining to release the barium, the rectocele didn’t empty. I was sent to the rest room to eliminate that portion after by splinting. My rectocele measured 6x5cm under strain—I gather that’s really large.
I wish I could say it was pleasant, but I would be lying, although I was treated with respect, dignity, & compassion. You’ll get through it fine. Just remember they see/do this all the time & your doctor would not have ordered it if he didn’t think it was necessary.
The paste was just inserted one time. The whole procedure took about 15 to 20 minutes after the paste was inserted, mostly because I had so much difficulty evacuating the paste.
I know it's easier said than done, but try not to worry too much. I am horrible when it comes to doctors & hospitals--I don't feel comfortable/completely trust either due to some earlier experiences, but I have been very impressed with the doctors & hospitals I've been working with to resolve all my prolapse problems. They truly seem to understand how difficult this is for us.
Princess, I wish I could be more upbeat for you but that was the worst test I have ever had. I promise you I will NEVER have defecography again. It was humiliating. Even a paper bag wouldn't have helped.
Unlike Sandi the radiologist and the two techs I had were not nice at all. Considering how sensitive people can be when asked to perform a bodily function in public that is usually very private I would have thought they would have been much more sensitive. One tech barely spoke English and when I flinched and groaned ( the reason for the test was severe rectal pain) when the radiologist was roughly inserting the paste she yelled at me to give her my hand so she could hold it! I cried through the whole exam and I've been through some pretty tough Gyn procedures with a large audience in a teaching hospital with no pain meds and not shed a tear. This was by far the worst!
I pray that your radiologist and techs are sensitive and comforting. Please let me know how it goes. I'll be thinking about you!
It's over! I was pretty nervous.. for sure, but the doctor (male) and assistant (female) made me feel as comfortable as possible. Thankfully - it was over in just a few minutes! The whole thing didn't take more then 7 minutes from start to finish.
I only had to undress from the waist down. Pretty much it has been described here. This doctor didn't tell me much of anything.. I asked if it was small or large, and he said it was a pretty large rectocele and that it would only get much worse in time, and that I will be like new once it is fixed.
I was sent home with a DVD to bring to my doctor on my next appointment. I have watched it - but don't really know how to read an xray - so doesn't do me too much good!
The MRI scanner was down.. so I have to reschedule the pelvic MRI
candyapplelady I'm so sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience! It's bad enough to have to go through embarrassment & discomfort of that procedure. No one should have to deal with insensitive/cruel hospital personnel too!