Hi Mary Ellen, Can I ask you about the defo. test. did you present with symptoms or did your Dr. just order it.. I had a TVH with TVT sling 5 months ago, and am now feeling weird rectal issues.......like my butt has dropped. thanks
LITTLE RED, rectal prolopse caused me to have chronic constipation, and the feeling that I could not completely empty my bowels without inserting a finger in my vagina to put pressure on the area. I could live with the bladder incontinence, but the bowel problem is what made me take action. Occasionally when I sat down to urinate, and my muscles were relaxed, I would have an unexpected small bowel movement. Sometimes I didn't even feel that it was happening. I could not live with that, as I only saw it getting worse. Fecal incontinence -- I don't think so! At 54 years old, I'm not accepting that. My surgeon would not operate without having this test done. Believe me, I asked if it was absolutely necessary.
Did your doctor already tell you to have this test? You can Google "defecography" and get a pretty good explanation online. I wasn't going to give a detailed description here. But after thinking about it, it would have made me feel better to hear how it was done from a patient's perspective. Here goes:
The defecography test was literally having a bowel movement of radioactive paste while being x-rayed. I had to do an enema prep before leaving home, so I would be cleaned out. They put you in a specially prepared radiology room. There were two female techs, then a male doctor. There was nothing painful. They treated a tampon and asked me to insert it in my vagina before getting on the table. Through a tube (no needles, no pain) they inject radioactive paste in your rectum. The "potty chair" is attached to the table, so that as they tilt the table, you gradually slide down, so you end up sitting in the chair. The chair faced away from the doctor, and there was some type of privacy curtain too. After the chair is settled upright and repositioned, the doctor asks you to defecate as soon as you get the urge. You are so full of paste, that it only takes a minute or two before you need to go. The doctor asks you to start, stop, strain, relax. Then, they all leave the room, and let you pass the rest of the paste in private. After that, the doctor came back in and explained his findings, and I was free to go home.
If it makes you feel any better, the doctor and techs were as respectful of my privacy as they could possibly be. The whole procedure probably took less than 30 minutes. I was so relieved when it was over, because I had been dreading it for months. It was not as bad as I had imagined. But I don't want to go through it a second time, that's for sure!