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Balloon Expulsion Test

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Updated December 19, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition:

The balloon expulsion test is used to identify problems with defecation. In this procedure, the patient lies on a table so that a small balloon can be inserted into the rectum. The balloon is then filled with water. At this point, the patient is asked to go to the toilet to expel the balloon. The length of time that it takes to expel the balloon is recorded. A normal expulsion time is considered to be within one minute. Longer expulsion times would be indicative of problematic defecation.

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