New Anorectal Physiology Center Aimed at Helping Patients with Functional Bowel Disorders

Nov 1, 2016

MEMPHIS, TN – November 1, 2016 - The Anorectal Physiology Center at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis is a new outpatient service dedicated to helping those with problems that aren’t as uncommon as you would think. This new center provides diagnostic testing to assess functional bowel disorders, including chronic constipation, prolapse and fecal incontinence. 

These disabling, painful, and often embarrassing conditions are estimated to affect twenty percent of the adult population. These conditions can dramatically impact work, daily activities, and the enjoyment of life.  Many people fail to seek care or treatment for these conditions because of embarrassment.

“Untreated functional bowel disorders can lead to other issues and can compromise quality of life,” said Joshua Katz, MD, a board certified colorectal surgeon and medical director of the Saint Francis Anorectal Physiology Center.

The Anorectal Physiology Center’s diagnostic procedures focus on problems in the following areas: chronic constipation or difficulty passing stool, anorectal pain, fecal incontinence or the involuntary passage of stool and rectal prolapse, when part of rectum is outside the anus. Patients are evaluated with the following tests: anorectal manometry, electromyography, defecography, Sensation Testing

The outpatient tests are performed at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis by a physician with a nurse present. A radiology technician is present during the diagnostic radiology testing.  No anesthesia is required and no surgical procedures are performed.  No fasting or other dietary changes are needed.  Once tests are completed, patients can resume normal activities. Findings are reported to the patient’s referring physician for management or treatment.

 “These outpatient tests can help determine who will benefit from medical management, pelvic floor retraining, and surgical intervention,” said Katz, “And ultimately help many patients improve their quality of life.”

Katz added that testing can also help to determine the best procedure for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and cancer two stage procedures with sphincter preservation, or one stage procedures with a permanent ostomy.  Contradictions to testing include the presence of acute inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, infection, dementia, substance abuse, terminal illness or cancer. 

To be seen at the center, patients must be referred by their physician and have had a recent physical and colonoscopy. To schedule an appointment, please call 901-765-1345.

About Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis

Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis is a 519-bed full service hospital located at 5959 Park Avenue in Memphis, Tenn.  Offering a wide array of medical services, Saint Francis is noted for its many Centers of Excellence, including its Center for Surgical Weight Loss, Joint & Spine Center, Heart & Vascular Center, Sleep Center, Chest Pain Emergency Center, and Surgical Services including its Center for Robotic Surgery, Diabetes Center, and Cancer Care Center.   The hospital has been recognized for excellence of care by United Healthcare, CIGNA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Aetna. Saint Francis Hospital serves as an academic training site for University of Tennessee Surgical, Family Practice, and Psychiatric Residents.  The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.  To learn more about Saint Francis Hospital, visit

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