Anorectal Manometry is a test of bowel function in patients with constipation and stool leakage. This test measures the anal sphincter muscle strength, sensation in the rectum, and reflexes needed for normal bowel movements. The risks and benefits and possibility of complications will be discussed with you by your doctor prior to your procedure. The procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes. It is done to diagnose constipation, stool leakage, and anorectal function before and after bowel surgery.
The anus and rectal area contain special muscles that help regulate stool passage. When stool enters the rectum, the anal sphincter tightens to prevent passing stool until convenient. When a person bears down to have a bowel movement these muscles relax and the pressure decreases to allow stool to pass. If these muscles are weak, this could cause leakage. If these muscles tighten, this could cause constipation. Constipation can also be caused by stool moving sluggishly through the whole colon.
Your doctor will instruct you regarding the time to being fasting depending on the time of your procedure. During the test, a small balloon attached to a catheter may be inflated in the rectum to check the normal reflexes. The person performing the test may ask the patient to squeeze, relax and push at different times.
Your doctor will discuss the results and your plan of care at your follow-up visit.