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Anorectal ManometryOur Services
What is the purpose of anorectal manometry?

Some people have trouble passing stools or can experience ongoing constipation or fecal incontinence. In these cases, it’s important to check how well the rectal and anal sphincters (valves) are working. Anorectal manometry is a test to measure the strength and coordination of the muscles that control the rectum and anus. The results, in conjunction with other information such as the bowel pattern or X-ray appearance of the rectum, may permit us to guide successful treatment.

How is anorectal manometry performed?
  • The manometry exam takes place in the office and lasts around 30 minutes.
  • With you lying on your side, your physician will insert a thin, flexible tube slowly into the rectum, and a machine will record the muscle contractions and relaxations in your sphincters when you squeeze or bear down as if to initiate a bowel movement.
  • We also inflate and deflate a balloon at the end of the catheter to test the sensation of your rectum (i.e., the feeling of needing to have a bowel movement).
  • Anorectal manometry can cause slight discomfort but is not usually painful, and you will not be sedated.
  • The test confers no significant risk. When the measurements are done, the tube will be withdrawn.
What preparation is required for an anorectal manometry?

Your doctor will give you specific instructions for preparing for this test:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have any conditions or diseases that might affect the decision to conduct the test.
  • You will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test.
  • You must also give yourself a Fleet® Enema two to three hours before your appointment to ensure your rectum is empty before the exam.
  • This test doesn’t interfere with medications you may be taking.
What happens following the anorectal manometry test?

After the results have been assessed, your doctor will discuss them with you. The course of treatment will depend on the extent of the problem and its cause. Typical treatment options include changes in your diet, prescription medications, and physical therapy to help strengthen and coordinate your pelvic muscles.

Where is anorectal manometry performed?

Anorectal manometry is performed in the office.