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Center for Pelvic Physiology

The UCSF Center for Pelvic Physiology uses advanced technologies to evaluate patients with fecal incontinence, constipation, pelvic floor disorders, anal or rectal tumors, or anal fistulas. The center was established in 1995.

We provide comprehensive evaluations from a board-certified colorectal surgeon as well as a specially trained nurse. We offer biofeedback therapy as well as innovative surgical treatments for fecal incontinence. Patients who don't respond to conventional care may participate in clinical trials or research projects evaluating experimental therapies.

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Our Services

Services at the center include:

Anorectal manometry – Measures internal and external sphincter pressures, rectal sensation, rectal volume capacity and rectoanal inhibitory reflex, which can confirm or rule out a diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease

Puborectalis muscle fiber recruitment – Measures neuromuscular activity that helps diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction

Pudendal nerve testing – Evaluates the presence and response rate of the pudendal nerve (main nerve near the anus), which may affect fecal incontinence

Endoanal ultrasound – Evaluates the integrity of the internal and external sphincter (muscle encircling the opening) for incontinence and checks for anal fistula (an abnormal passageway from the anus to the outside of the body)

Endorectal ultrasound – Evaluates the depth of rectal tumors to help with staging cancer

Biofeedback – Teaches patients to control rectum, anal sphincter and pelvic floor muscles, as a method of treating incontinence or constipation

Urodynamic testing – This includes:

  • Cystoscopy – An endoscopic procedure that allows us to see inside the urethra and bladder to check for abnormalities
  • Cystometrogram – A study used to evaluate bladder function by measuring bladder capacity, the ability to sense bladder fullness and other factors
  • Urethral pressure profile – Evaluates urethral closure pressure, a measure of the severity of stress incontinence (when pressure from an action such as sneezing causes urine to be expelled)
  • Uroflowmetry/voiding pressure study – Evaluates function by testing the amount and speed of voiding

Doctor referral required

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    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
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    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
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    Related clinics

    Center for Colorectal Surgery

    Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building

    1825 Fourth St., Fourth Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94158

    Center for Urogynecology and Women's Pelvic Health

    Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building

    1500 Owens St., Suite 380
    San Francisco, CA 94158

    Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Program

    2356 Sutter St., Fifth and Seventh Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94143

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