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Radiology (Xray)

Evacuation Proctogram

Appointments: RVI: (0191) 282 2712 or (0191) 282 2707

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

This information is designed to give you some details about having an Evacuation Proctogram, to help you prepare for your examination and to give you some idea of what to expect when you attend.


What is an Evacuation Proctogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

An Evacuation Proctogram is an X-Ray examination, which enables us to see the structures in your lower abdomen, and the way they move when you attempt to empty your bowel. It is carried out by a specially trained senior radiographer, or a radiologist (a doctor who specialises in x-rays).



Why do I need an Evacuation Proctogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

We need to find out if you have an evacuation disorder and to help your doctor decide upon the most appropriate treatment.



Will I have to wait long before I receive an appointment?Show [+]Hide [-]

You should receive an appointment within 4-6 weeks.



What preparation will I need?Show [+]Hide [-]

Approximately one hour before your examination, you will be given a drink of barium liquid. When it is your turn, you will be taken to a changing room and asked to undress and put on a gown.

What to bring with you?Show [+]Hide [-]

You can bring something to read or if preferred, a member of your family or a friend could come with you to keep you company whilst you wait for your examination, but they would not normally be allowed into the examination room.



What does the examination involve?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • You will be taken into the x-ray room and asked to lie on the table. 
  • The doctor or senior radiographer will put a small tube into your rectum (back passage).
  • Barium paste is introduced through this tube and into your bowel.
  • You will then be asked to sit on a commode and attempt to empty the barium paste out of your bowel, while the doctor or radiographer takes x-rays.


This part of the test will only take a few minutes. After it is finished you will be free to leave the department.


How long will the examination take?Show [+]Hide [-]

You will be in the X-ray department for approximately one and a half hours which includes the preparation. The test itself takes ten to fifteen minutes.  We try to see patients as near to their appointment time as possible but sometimes emergency cases have to be seen, which may cause some delay.  But do feel free to ask a member of staff if you feel that you have been over-looked.

How does it feel?Show [+]Hide [-]

The test should not be painful.  Even though it can feel embarrassing, the staff are very experienced and are familiar with the procedure and will put you at your ease throughout the examination.



What are the benefits of having an Evacuation Proctogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

This examination will help us make the correct diagnosis so we will be able to give you the correct treatment.



What are the risks of having an Evacuation Proctogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

We are all exposed to natural background radiation every day of our lives. Each x-ray examination gives us a small additional dose. This dose varies with each type of examination. Everything is done within the x-ray department to minimise this dose.


X-rays may be harmful to the unborn child, especially in the earlier stages of pregnancy. If you are a female of child-bearing age, this examination is not advisable unless one or more of the following apply to you:


  • You are taking the contraceptive pill
  • You have been sterilised or had a hysterectomy
  • You have been fitted with a coil (IUD).
  • Your husband or partner has had a vasectomy.
  • Your appointment date is within ten days of the start of your last menstrual period.

If you are worried about any of these risks, please speak to your doctor or a member of their team.



Can I drive home?Show [+]Hide [-]

This test will not affect your ability to drive.



When will I get my results?Show [+]Hide [-]

After your scan has finished we will not be able to tell you the results as the reporting radiologist will need to study the images carefully.  If you have come from home, the results will be sent back to the doctor who referred you for your scan.  This process takes approximately 2 weeks, so unless other arrangements have been made you should expect to hear something after this time.

I need an ambulance/transport. Do you arrange it?Show [+]Hide [-]

If you need an ambulance/ transport, you should ask your GP Surgery to arrange it. You will need to give them three working days’ notice.  Please note that hospital transport is provided on medical need only.

What if I cannot attend for my appointment?Show [+]Hide [-]

If your appointment time is not convenient please contact the hospital department so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable scanning time to someone else.

Freeman X-ray Appointments     0191 223 1012 (8.30am-5.00pm)

RVI X-ray Appointments               0191 282 4330 (8.30am-5.00pm)

Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. 

The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.

Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.

You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:

Telephone: 0845 300 6016 



What if I have any comments, suggestions or complaintsShow [+]Hide [-]

Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:

The Departmental Manager                      

X-ray Department Level 3                         

Royal Victoria Infirmary                             

Queen Victoria Road                                 

Newcastle upon Tyne                                

NE1 4LP                                                       

Tel: (0191) 2821099                                   

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm

All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard Tel: (0191) 233 6161 (24 hours)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.  You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email

Information produced by: Gastro-Intestinal Specialist Radiographer/Dr J Graham Consultant Radiologist

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