Anorectal ultrasonography is one of the most important tests in the diagnosis of anal sphincter problems, which can lead to fecal incontinence – a disease that affects 1 to 7.4% of the world population. This is one of the main causes of hospitalization for patients in nursing homes.
Also called endoanal ultrasound, the procedure is done with a rotating intra-anal transducer, which allows the complete and circumferential visualization of the entire sphincter muscle, rectum wall and canal, and its adjacent structures. It is a painless exam that causes just a little discomfort – resembling the rectal touch performed on physical examinations.
It is essential to have an experienced examiner in order to provide safety to the patient and for the results of the anorectal ultrasonography to be of quality. Colono specializes in coloproctology exams, with state-of-the-art equipment and professionals able to correctly perform the procedure. Learn how our anorectal ultrasound scan works.
How is anorectal ultrasound done?
Ultrasonography is a non-invasive procedure that allows the evaluation of various organs and structures of the organism. It works with acoustic waves that generate images, which allows the doctor to evaluate in detail the physical structure of certain parts of the body. In the case of anorectal ultrasound, the muscles responsible for maintaining fecal continence, as well as the structures that make up the rectum wall and the fat around it, can be thoroughly evaluated.
The patient needs to fast and use laxatives to clean the canal prior to the exam. The need for sedation is rare, which may be necessary depending on the reason that lead to the exam. In cases of inflammation and conditions that cause pain, sedation may be recommended.
During the exam, the patient is kept lying down and the transducer – a tube about two centimeters in diameter – is inserted through the anus. The transducer will evaluate the entire sphincter muscles and check for abscesses, complex fistulas and endometriosis implants. In cancer patients, anorectal ultrasonography allows the diagnosis of cancer of the anus and rectum, aiding in diagnosis and treatment. The doctors call that staging, that is, determining the stage of the disease. Among the main indications of anorectal ultrasound, are:
- Complaints of fecal incontinence
- Evaluation of fistulas – communications that form between the anal canal and the skin on the outside of the anus
- Evaluation of patients shortly before or after treatment for cancer of the rectum or anal canal.
In addition, anorectal ultrasonography may also be indicated in the operating room, to assist in making surgical decisions, such as in cases of hidden abscesses.
The duration of the procedure is fast, about 15 minutes, and the report usually goes out on the same day. The images captured are very similar to those of a resonance.
Patients who need anesthesia are kept under observation until its effect is over, being released with a companion. There are no contraindications for this exam. The procedure is painless and causes a supportable nuisance.
Colono Clinic offers anorectal ultrasound exam with modern equipment. We have a team qualified to perform the most modern procedures, guaranteeing results of trust and quality. Schedule your appointment now.