Anorectal manometry measures the anal sphincter and rectal muscle tone. This test is used to evaluate fecal incontinence (a bowel control problem) or constipation. It measures how well the anal sphincter muscles are working, the feelings in the rectum, and the nerve reflexes you must have for a normal bowel movement. The following things can be measured or evaluated:
- Muscular coordination
- Expulsion of materials
- Rectal sensations or feeling
- Releasing, squeezing and resting anal sphincter tone
Preparation for Anorectal Manometry
First, you will have an enema to clean out the bottom of your colon. An enema is done by flushing a laxative or water into the anal opening with a special bottle or tube.
For the anorectal manometry, you will wear a hospital gown that opens in the back. The technologist performing the test will ask you to lie on your left side on an examination table and bend your knees.
During the Anorectal Manometry
A small, soft, flexible tube will be inserted into your rectum. A tiny balloon is attached to the end of the tube. This balloon is filled with small amounts of air to measure how the muscles and nerves work inside the rectum. Pressure sensors are also used to evaluate the rectum and anal muscles. The balloon will be inflated and measurements taken as you squeeze and relax your anal muscles.
This procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes, and you will be awake for the entire process.
Possible Complications of Anorectal Manometry
Anorectal manometry is low-risk procedure that’s unlikely to cause pain. Complications are rare, but can include perforation (tearing) or bleeding of the intestinal wall or rectum.
Palo Alto Medical Foundation offers a state-of-the-art endoscopy testing facility to screen for gastrointestinal problems. We operate with a highly-trained support staff of nurses and surgical technicians.
Mountain View Center
701 E. El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040
Main phone: 650-934-7575
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.