Pelvic Floor Therapy
UT Physicians Colon and Rectal Clinic, our physicians work with patients at our Pelvic Floor Center to improve pelvic health issues with the latest in pelvic floor therapy. We offer an individualized, multi-disciplinary approach to overcoming the various symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. Our pelvic floor therapy provides innovative solutions to the following:
- Accidental bowel leakage
- Chronic constipation
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Rectal cancer
Understanding the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor consists of muscles, nerves, and connective tissue that support the structures of the pelvis: the rectum, bladder, and female reproductive organs. Over time or with an acute injury, these supportive tissues can weaken, causing incontinence of urine and/or feces and vaginal prolapse, a condition in which the pelvic organs can “fall” into the vagina, causing the tissue to protrude.
Comprehensive Diagnostic Testing
- Anal Manometry – Measures the strength of the internal and external sphincters and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles and assesses sensations in the rectum. Used to determine constipation, and fecal incontinence, to rule out Hirschsprung’s and many other pelvic floor conditions.
- EMG recruitment – Assess the patient’s ability to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles voluntarily. Used to assess relaxation of the pelvic floor in constipation. Pudendal nerve EMG – Assesses conduction of the pudendal nerve. Mainly used in diagnosing the cause of accidental bowel leakage but also rectal prolapse and enterocele.
- Anal ultrasound – Images sphincters and tissues surrounding the anal canal. Used to assess accidental bowel leakage, fistula, abscess, sphincter injury (post-delivery/surgery), and pain. This in-office procedure involves placing an ultrasound probe in the anorectal canal. While this may cause slight discomfort, it is largely pain-free and provides our surgeons with an excellent understanding of the anatomy of each patient’s pelvic floor.
- Cine Defecography – A test using fluoroscopy that evaluates rectal emptying and relaxation of the pelvic floor. Visualizes rectocele, enterocele, and rectal prolapse.
- PNE (Peripheral Nerve Evaluation) – Determines whether sacral nerve stimulation for the control of accidental bowel leakage or lower urinary tract dysfunction is appropriate for a given patient. A temporary device is used, and, if successful, surgery to implant a permanent device would be the next option.