How many and what tests were used to determine colonic inertia???

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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 7/21/2008 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
 OK, I've had the sitz opaque marker test- failed it miserably, they did barium x-rays showed my colon is jamm packed full of stool, they couldn't give me one test because I kept puking up the mag. citrate colosopy i think, I tried any and all chemical/ pill to help it didn't... how many more tests will they have to do be4 surgery becomes the option and possibly solution to a long ongoing problem???????????

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 7/21/2008 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
hi Hopestar, it took roughly 28 years of testing before I had a sub-total colectomy, but once I did have the marker test and fail it like yourself they had also carried out yet another bowel biopsy and sigmoidoscopy, a month later they told me that I had severe slow transit and they didn't know why. They said my best option was sub-total colectomy with ileo rectal anastamosis. (no bag, just reattachment), that took a year on the waiting list. It is major surgery and sometimes I wish I never had it done, read my post ( under lap subtotal colectomy) but then I read others postings and most seem a lot better, maybe I am one of the unlucky ones. I do get BM everyday now but the abdominal pain is worse than before. Let me know how you get on, I know how it feels when constant tests show nothing of significance. Especially prolonged problems. Take care
Amanda x

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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 7/21/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to get my diagnosis, as I went through many tests and such here in VA to no avail. Mayo had a test they did (only 6 places in the world do it), that verified my colonic inertia. Was not a pleasant test, the day before the test I had to do a bowel cleanout. The day of the test a gastro insterts a thin plastic tube throughout your colon and then threads a small wire inside it that can measure colon peristalsis. I had to lay still for six hours as readings were constantly taken showing colon activity. At one point you are given a drink that has like 1,000 calories to test colon response. Later, I was given an injection of Neostigmine (a powerful bowel stimulant) and readings were taken. It is much more accurate than the marker test. My colon did not pass the test (no suprise there) and if I had not been having all the other symptoms I had been having (nausea, vomiting at least ten times daily, pain, and fainting) that one test would have been sufficient to have my colon removed (I had to have many more tests due to my symptoms). So at Mayo, one test is needed. Unfortunately it is not possible for everyone to take the time and money to go to Mayo. At the best hospital in my area here in VA, two tests were required, the sitz marker test and a defecogram (that rules out pelvic floor disorder as being the cause of constipation). I cannot imagine you would have to do many tests if your only problem is the constipation. Everywhere is different though, and even two different doctors at the same hospital may do different things. Don't stress about it, ultimately your physician will want to put you out of your misery. Stay positive! Let us know how your visit goes tomorrow, too. Good luck!!!!!!
Sigmoid Resection due to sigmoidocele 3/07
Total Colectomy due to colonic inertia 2/08

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 7/21/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   


Another test that should be done is an anomanometry and a defecography. If you have your surgery before having these tests done and there is a problem, you could end up in the same situation that you're in now. I speak from experience. Good luck!

Breast Cancer at 37; bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Colon resection 2004; Sub-Total colectomy September 2007 for colonic inertia - didn't work.
Son with UC; taking Asacol and 6MP with Prednisone and Rowasa added during flareups. Recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis - now on Humira.
Husband with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

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