Anorectal manometry is a test that measures how well the rectum and anal sphincter are working. The anorectal manometry test is commonly given to people who have fecal incontinence, constipation and Hirschsprung’s disease in children.
Anorectal manometry is a test that measures how well the rectum and anal sphincters work together to eliminate stool (feces).
The anal sphincter has an internal and external sphincter, or valve, which helps to control continence (passing) of stool. These valves are made of muscles that control the opening and closing of the anus. The test is performed to see how well it is working.
What are the parts of the lower digestive system?
The lower digestive system consists of the:
The digestive tract, including the sections of
the large intestine.
The end of the digestive tract is the rectum, which acts as a temporary storage area for feces or stool (the waste product of digestive system). The rectum holds the stool until defecation occurs. During defecation, stool is propelled out through the anus.
When would anorectal manometry be needed?
The anorectal manometry test is commonly given to people who have:
How does the test work?
A small flexible tube (called a catheter) with a balloon on the end is inserted through the anal opening, past a ring of muscles called the anal sphincter before passing into the rectum. The small balloon at the tip of the catheter is gradually inflated. This causes the nerves and muscles in the rectum and anus to begin to squeeze. The end of the tube remains outside of the anus. It is connected to a machine that records the contractions and relaxations of the rectum and anal sphincter.
How do I prepare for the test?
You may need to prepare your body for anorectal manometry. This prep work is necessary so that there is no stool in the rectum during the test. Before the test, your healthcare provider will ask you to:
In most cases, this test will not interfere with any medications you may be taking. Ask your doctor if it is okay to take your prescribed medications the morning of the exam.
What happens during anorectal manometry?
During the test itself, you can expect that:
The exam will take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete.
What will happen after the test?
After the test, you can expect that:
If you think you may be experiencing any unusual symptoms or side effects, call your doctor.
If my doctor finds something during the test, what are my treatment options?
Treatment depends on how severe the problem is and what’s causing it. Generally, treatment options include:
IMPORTANT REMINDER: This information is intended only to provide general guidance. It does not provide definitive medical advice. It is very important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.