Endoanal ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging of the anal sphincter complex

A type of medical investigation which images the structure of the anal canal

About

An endoanal ultrasound is used to demonstrate either childbirth trauma or post surgical trauma to the sphincter. This is a muscle that maintains constriction of a natural body passage, such as the anus. It may also show abnormal thinning of an intact internal sphincter, associated with incontinence.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    You will be asked to change into a gown before the ultrasound is performed. In order for the consultant to carry out the test, you will be asked to lie on a couch on your left side. They will explain to you what they are doing at each stage of the test. Once you are comfortable, your consultant will insert a fine tube into your anus (back passage). The tube will be attached to a lead which is connected to a machine. The consultant will view the area and take images at different positions. You should feel very little, if any, discomfort during this test.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    If instructed by your consultant, you may be required to stop all laxative medication and the use of suppositories prior to your appointment. Otherwise, you do not need to do anything before your arrival at the hospital. You can eat and drink as normal and continue to take any medication that you would normally take. There is no reason why the tests should have any adverse effects but you are welcome to bring along somebody for support.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After the test you will be allowed to rest for a while and then you will be allowed to go home. Since a sedative is not administered during the test you do not need anyone to accompany you home but you can ask a family member or friend to pick you up if you would prefer. You may experience a little discomfort in the lower part of the tummy or back passage after the test for a few hours but this usually settles down. Bleeding through the back passage is very unusual. If you do experience any unusual symptoms you can contact our team for immediate advice.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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