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Magnetic Resonance (MR) Defecography is a noninvasive test used to evaluate rectal function and determine how well the pelvic muscles are working. Unlike conventional X-ray examinations and Computed Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Defecography does not utilize ionizing radiation. Instead, it uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the functions of the rectum during various stages of a bowel movement. These images are used to help determine the cause of many common conditions such as incontinence and constipation.
Your physician may recommend an MR Defecography if you are having trouble controlling your bladder (incontinence), have difficulty passing stool (constipation) or have symptoms consistent with other rectal abnormalities that may be difficult to diagnose using more traditional tests like a Colonoscopy.
During MR Defecography, images are obtained at various stages of a bowel movement (defecation). You will be given specific instructions and asked to drink water thirty minutes prior to the exam. Ultrasound gel will be inserted into your rectum. You may feel mild bloating or cramping at this time. You will lie on an exam table faceup with your knees bent. A device that sends and receives radio waves will be wrapped around your pelvis. The table will slide through the scanner where the surrounding magnetic fields and radio waves will capture images as you contract your muscles as you would during a bowel movement. Images will also be taken while your muscles are relaxed. It is important that you remain still while the table slides through the scanner. The MRI machine does generate loud noises as the images are captured. All patients are given ear plugs to wear while in the MRI machine. The Technologist will be in the adjacent room operating the scanner, but will be able to hear and communicate with you throughout the exam.
After the exam, you may be asked to wait until the Radiologist checks the images to ensure that no additional images are needed. Once the exam is complete, you may resume your normal diet and activity level.
MRI exams are painless. The part that may be uncomfortable is remaining still during the imaging portion of the exam. If you suffer from claustrophobia, talk to your physician to see if medication may be prescribed.
For your convenience, appointments are available at the locations listed below. MR Defecography is offered at Fairfax MRI Center on Tuesday morning and Fairfax MRI and Imaging Center at Tysons on Monday morning/afternoon. Click on the link for hours and information about each location.
Available at the following locations
Fairfax MRI and Imaging Center at Tysons
7799 Leesburg Pike Suite 104S Falls Church, VA22043 United States