Anal sphincter electromyography (EMG)

Anal Sphincter EMG is a simple outpatient tests to assess whether the anal muscle (sphincter) and nerves are working correctly. The anal sphincter is the muscle valve at the opening of the rectum that controls bowel movements.

When do you need to do the test?
  • Inability to control stool (stool incontinence)
  • Constipation
  • Neurological abnormalities in the sacral region
  • Abnormal sensations in the perineal region.
  • Megacolon in children
  • Some urinary problems as difficulty in micturition
Before the test (Preparation)
  • You will have to fast from food for a certain number of hours before the procedure.
  • Take enemas to clean out your digestive system. We ask that you take two enemas on the day of your procedure. Take the first enema 4 hours prior to leaving the house and the second enema 2 to 3 hours prior to leaving the house. Enemas can be available in the pharmacies.
  • You can drink normally before the test.
The test procedure
  • Local anesthetic will be applied around the anus.
  • The doctor will use a small needle electrode to examine the anal sphincter muscle around the anus.
  • The doctor will ask you to contract and relax the muscle during the procedure to record the muscle activity.
After the test
  • you may feel minimal discomfort for a few minutes.
  • You can resume normal activities immediately after the test.
Test Duration

The test takes 5-10 minutes.

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