Proctogram / defaecography tests

What is a defaecography test?

This test investigates any problems you may have when trying to open your bowels.

You may be referred for this test if you have been experiencing troublesome bowel problems such as constipation or faecal incontinence, pelvic floor issues or rectal prolapse.

How does the defaecography test work?

Your physiologist will insert barium paste (which shows up on X-ray) into your rectum using a finger-sized examining scope until you have the urge to empty your bowels.

We will then ask you to sit on a specially designed toilet in front of an X-ray screen. You will then be asked to open your bowels to pass the barium out of your back passage.

You will be given privacy while you are doing this behind a screen in a darkened room.

How much does the defaecography test cost?

If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £1,185.

How do you prepare for a defaecography test?

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

What can be learned

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.


It was also great to have time to talk to the clinicians – very important when you have problems. Reception staff also very kind and helpful.

Manchester Patient