Anorectal Manometry

Also known as: anal manometry.

What is anorectal manometry?

If a person is having problems with the function of their anal sphincter or rectum, such as constipation or incontinence, an anorectal manometry may be performed. The procedure involves passing a catheter into the rectum in order to check the function of these body parts.

What happens during the procedure?

First, a tube known as a catheter is passed through the anus and into the rectum. Then a balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated. As this occurs, the rectum and anus muscles activate in response. A machine that is attached to the catheter records the function of the rectum, by measuring the pressures of the anal sphincter and anus muscles at various moments.

Is any special preparation needed?

You'll need to avoid food and drink for a set period of time before the procedure. You'll also have to give yourself an enema in order to completely flush the contents of the bowels before the procedure is performed.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection, tearing of the rectum or equipment failure are possible complications of anorectal manometry.

Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: November 11, 2020 02:32 PM

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