Proctogram

Why have a Proctogram?

The Proctogram is a test to demonstrate the lower portion of the bowel.

Your Doctor may have suggested this test because you have difficulty passing bowel motions, or incontinence.

Preparing for the test

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment.

It is important that the bowel is empty before we start this test, but little preparation is required. You will be given a laxative suppository to insert on the morning of the test. It is important you follow the instructions; and if you have any queries, please don't hesitate to call or phone us for advice or reassurance. 

The test usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes, and at the start you will be asked to undress and put on a gown like a big T-shirt . 

Female patients - please let us know prior to this test if you are, or think you may be pregnant.

Who does the test?

A Radiologist (x-ray doctor) and a Radiographer (x-ray technician) will be in the room with you. They will explain the procedure, but don't hesitate to ask them if you do not understand.

What is Barium?

Barium is a chalky substance that can be suspended in water and is visible on X-rays.

The procedure

As the rectum is a soft tissue structure, it is not usually seen on a plain X-ray. By using barium to coat the inner lining of this area, the Radiologist can see the bowel clearly on the X-ray screen and can watch the way it functions during this study. A small lubricated plastic tube will be inserted into your rectum by the Doctor or Radiographer. This can be a little uncomfortable and if it is hurting ask the Doctor to stop.

The Radiologist will slowly let Barium into the tube and this will gradually go into the bowel. The tube will then be removed, and you will be asked to sit on a commode (toilet) chair. The Radiologist will take a series of X-ray pictures of the rectum initially while you are sitting, and then as you pass the barium.

After the Radiologist has seen your X-rays and the test is completed, you can go to the lavatory to get rid of the barium that has been introduced. You can eat and drink normally when the test is completed.

Your films will be sent to you or your Doctor, with a copy of the Radiologists interpretation of the study.

After the examination

The radiologist will review the pictures and provide a written report to your referring Doctor.

Please settle your account on the day of the examination.

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment on 07-839 4909 or 0800 HAMRAD (0800 426723) 

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