Anorectal Manometry

Anorectal manometry is a test that analyzes the function of the rectum and anal sphincters to release stool. This test evaluates bowel & defecatory problems. This test is also performed to diagnose fecal incontinence, constipation, and Hirschsprung's disease in children.

What is anorectal manometry?

Anorectal manometry is a noninvasive method of assessing the functionality of the anal muscles of anal and rectal. The anorectal sphincter is a set of muscles that control how feces exits the body. Anorectal manometry help to diagnose whether these muscles are too loose, too tight, or do not work at the right time. This exam assesses muscle pressures, feeling in the rectum (the passage between the large intestine and the anus), and neural reflexes required for proper bowel movements.

Who needs anorectal manometry?

For proper bowel movement, it is essential that there is a cooperation of particular muscles and nerves in the rectum and anal canal. Usually, when feces enter the rectum, the anal sphincter muscles contract to restrict stool passage until you can reach the restroom. Fecal incontinence (stool leakage) can develop if these muscles are weak or do not contract on time. Similarly, pushing for a bowel movement relaxes the anal sphincter muscles, enabling feces to pass. Constipation may result if the muscles get tightened.
Anorectal manometry tests these functions and assists in diagnosing conditions like fecal incontinence and constipation. If you have persistent bowel difficulties, your doctor may advise you to undergo anorectal manometry.

Anorectal manometry is also done to assess following:

How is Anorectal manometry test done?

Following are the steps of an anorectal manometry test:
A tiny flexible tube with a balloon at the end is inserted through the anal opening into the rectum above the ring of muscles called the anal sphincter. The balloon at the end of the catheter is then inflated. This makes the muscles and nerves of the rectum and anus contract. The tube's end remains outside of the anus. It is linked to a machine that records rectum and anal sphincter contractions and relaxations.

Preparations before the test

It is essential for a patient to prepare the body before anorectal manometry. This preparation is required to ensure that the rectum should be empty and no stool should be present during the test. A doctor might ask to do the following before the anorectal manometry test:

  • Do not eat or drink anything on the night before the test.
  • The bowels must be empty before the test.
  • The patient should do a Fleet enema two to three hours before the doctor's visit. Fleet enemas are also available at the local pharmacy or supermarket.

This test will not usually affect any drugs or medications you are taking. Check with your doctor to see if it is OK to take your prescription medications on the morning of the exam.

What happens during anorectal manometry?

During the anorectal manometry test following will be done:

  • The patient will not be anesthetized throughout the anorectal manometry test.
  • A tiny (14-inch-diameter) flexible tube will be progressively inserted through the anal sphincter and into the rectum.
  • The patient may get a slight discomfort sensation while the tube is inserted, but there won't be much pain.
  • Another side of the tube will be connected to a monitor or a machine that records differences in the pressure (muscle contractions and muscle relaxation) in the rectum and anal sphincter.
  • The tube will be progressively removed after the measurements have been collected.
  • The test will last between 20 and 30 minutes.

The reports will be deeply analyzed and studied by gastroenterologists.

What happens after the test?

After the test following will be scheduled:

  • The findings of the manometry test will be discussed with the patient.
  • The patient will be allowed to return home and may continue his or her regular diet and activities.
  • Immediately call or consult your doctor if you suspect you have any odd symptoms or side effects after an anorectal manometry test.

Anal ManometryTest Results

After the test following will be scheduled:

  • The results of tests can assist your doctor in determining the reason for constipation or incontinence and planning a treatment strategy.
  • The test, for example, may indicate weak anal sphincter muscles or abnormal sensation in the rectum; this can be due to fecal incontinence.
  • The results of the tests may suggest that the anal sphincter muscles do not operate properly when you push for a bowel movement, resulting in constipation.

Results and follow-up

The following can be the treatment options after the doctor discovers something from the tests reports:
Treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the underlying cause.
Treatment options, in general, include:

  • Alterations to the diet
  • Medications
  • Strengthening exercises for the muscles
  • Surgical intervention

If you are having similar health issues and looking for expert solutions, then consult Medicover Hospitals. We have top Medical Gastroenterologists and Surgical Gastroenterologists who are highly expertise in managing all gastro conditions.