Biofeedback

What’s the treatment for?

Biofeedback is a term used to describe a package of non-drug treatment which uses a combination of techniques to retrain your bowel to work more effectively.

You may be sent for this treatment if you have been experiencing troublesome bowel problems such as faecal incontinence, constipation or difficulties emptying your bowel.

What does the treatment involve?

Your biofeedback gut testing session will be conducted by a specialist nurse, physiotherapist or physiologist. They will have a wealth of experience in dealing with difficult bowel complaints and will always make you feel at ease and comfortable.

Initially, the specialist practitioner will take a detailed history. They may conduct an examination of your pelvic floor muscles via a vaginal (in women) or anal assessment, or both if required. A physical examination allows the practitioner to assess how the pelvic floor muscles, that control your bowels, are functioning.

Sometimes the practitioner may need to use a high-resolution anal manometry probe to help educate your muscles a little better. This is a narrow probe (about half the width of your little finger) which is inserted into your back passage.

It may feel uncomfortable when the probe is inserted, but it should not be painful. We understand you may feel embarrassed, and will help you feel at ease throughout.

The probe allows visualisation of the muscles in your back passage to see how these are working. It measures pressures which are shown as a colour plot on a screen. We can use the colour plot to help retrain and strengthen your muscles.

If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £225.

How to prepare

You do not need to do any special preparation for your appointment.  You may eat and drink as normal and continue with any regular medication.

What can be learned

The probe allows visualisation of the muscles in your back passage to see how these are working.  It measures pressures which are shown as a colour plot on a screen.  We can use the colour plot to help retrain and strengthen your muscles.

Your treatment plan will often involve a bowel retraining programme, dietary and medication advice, a pelvic floor exercise programme, and lifestyle advice to promote easier and more complete bowel emptying.

Following your test, your data will be analysed and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to both you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation.

Information leaflet
Information leaflet

Find more information about this test using our PDF download.

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An excellent service from beginning to end. I would recommend to anyone who was considering having testing done. Very friendly and knowledgeable

Manchester Patient