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Translabial ultrasound in the assessment of pelvic floor and anorectal function in women with defecatory disorders

Abstract

This article shows how modern ultrasound imaging can contribute to the investigation of patients with posterior vaginal wall prolapse, obstructed defecation, fecal incontinence and rectal intussusception/prolapse, conditions that should be similarly relevant and of interest to colorectal surgeons, gastroenterologists and gynecologists. Translabial/perineal ultrasound, a simple, universally available technique, may serve as a first-line diagnostic tool in women with posterior compartment prolapse and/or symptoms of obstructed defecation, largely replacing defecation proctography and magnetic resonance proctography. This has advantages for healthcare systems, since sonographic imaging is less expensive, non-invasive, less time-consuming and does not involve radiation exposure. However, there is a substantial need for teaching that remains unmet to date. This article illustrates in details the technique of translabial ultrasonography adopted by our unit and reviews the literature supporting this method of assessing pelvic floor and anorectal function in women with defecatory disorders.

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Conflict of interest

HP Dietz has received unrestricted educational grants from GE Medical.

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Correspondence to H. P. Dietz.

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Dietz, H.P. Translabial ultrasound in the assessment of pelvic floor and anorectal function in women with defecatory disorders. Tech Coloproctol 18, 481–494 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10151-013-1117-5

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Keywords

  • Translabial ultrasound
  • Anorectal disorders
  • Pelvic floor disorders