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School of Medicine
Anorectal manometry is a procedure that helps determine the strength of the rectal and anal muscles.
Anorectal Manometry: Why It’s Performed
Your gastroenterologist may want to perform anorectal manometry to evaluate certain anorectal malformations and Hirschsprung’s disease. The anal and rectal muscles usually tighten to hold in a bowel movement and relax in order to pass it. If these muscles do not contract and open normally, it can lead to constipation or fecal incontinence. The anorectal manometry can test the muscle function and neural reflexes.
Anorectal Manometry: What to Expect
Prior to the procedure, you will need to make sure your digestive tract is empty. Your doctor may recommend you do an enema at home.
During the procedure:
- You lie on your left side.
- Your physician inserts a small, flexible tube into the rectum. The tube has a balloon attached.
- Your doctor inflates the balloon in the rectum to evaluate the reflexes.
- You may need to squeeze, relax or push at various times during the procedure so your doctor can measure the sphincter muscle pressure.
- Once the examination is complete, you may go home and resume your normal activities.