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Functional Gut Assessment

What is a Functional Gut Assessment?

A functional gut assessment is needed when problems arise with your stomach and intestine. Symptoms of gut related problems can range from nearly unnoticeable to severe. At OneWelbeck we offer a range of tests, and your physician will advise you on what the best course of action is for your specific needs.

What are the kinds of tests available for assessing the gut?

There are various tests available at OneWelbeck for assessing the gut, including the following:

Endoscopy (sigmoidoscopy)

During an endoscopy, the inside of your rectum is examined using a long, thin flexible tube with a light and video camera at the end. Images can also be taken of the inside of your body.

Anal Manometry

Anal manometry helps to assess how well the muscles and nerves in and around your rectum are working. The test uses a device that looks like a small thermometer with a balloon attached to the end. It’s inserted into your rectum and the balloon is inflated. It may feel unusual, but it’s not uncomfortable or painful. The device is attached to a machine, which measures pressure readings taken from the balloon.

You’ll be asked to squeeze, relax and push your rectum muscles at certain times. You may also be asked to push the balloon out of your rectum in the same way you push out a stool. The pressure-measuring machine gives an idea of how well your muscles are working. This test is especially useful for those who have experienced faecal incontinence, constipation or prior to surgery in the pelvic floor region.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound scan can be used to create a detailed picture of the inside of your anus. Ultrasound scans are particularly useful in detecting underlying damage to the sphincter muscles.

Defecography

Defecography is a test used to study how you pass stools. It can also be useful in detecting signs of obstruction or prolapse that haven’t been discovered during a rectal examination.

During this test, a liquid called barium is placed into your rectum. The barium helps make it easier to highlight problems using an X-ray. Once the barium is in place, you’ll be asked to pass stools in the usual way while scans are taken.