anorectal manometry

Anorectal Manometry – Essential Things to Learn About The Procedure

The muscles located within the anus and rectum of an individual play an important part in ensuring smooth bowel movements.

These muscles are tightened, when the individuals need to hold in a bowel movement and become relaxed when a bowel movement is passed.

In case of individuals experiencing GI mobility issues, like, fecal incontinence, constipation or other anal and rectal function issues, the doctors might suggest anorectal manometry treatment test to get a clearer idea of the problem. 

What Is Anorectal Manometry?

Anorectal manometry is a test that is used to measure the pressure, reflex and sensation of the anal and rectum muscles. The test helps the doctors to access the strength of these muscles besides helping to measure the resting and squeeze pressure and the length of the functional anal canal.

The test performed by an expert proctologist   or by a specially trained assistant. This outpatient procedure is completed in one hour and the patients can get back to their normal diet and lifestyle immediately after the procedure is completed.

How It Is Done?

The procedure comprises of placing a pencil thick flexible tube, known as the manometry probe, inside the anal canal. The tube is about the size of a thermometer and has balloon fitted at one end.

It also features multiple sensors and is connected to a machine that measures and records the pressure activity in the rectum and anal canal.

During the procedure, the patients might be asked to simulate the movements identical to holding or releasing a bowel movement to get a more accurate reading.

Based on their understanding of the anorectal manometry interpretation, the doctors are able to advice the best treatment for the issues being faced by the patients.

Essential Facts About the Procedure

Contrary to the popular belief, this procedure is not advised to all individuals facing the problem of fecal incontinence. Rather, it is performed only on carefully selected patients who show anorectal manometry indications, including the possible presence of an anorectal muscle or systemic disease or even nerve damage caused by surgical trauma.

The procedure is also not advisable for people suffering from lower gastrointestinal bleeding or those who are allergic to latex and rubber.

Despite being a safe procedure, the patients should be prepared for the slight discomfort of having a probe inserted into and removed from their anal canal.

Preparing for The Procedure:

First of all, patients should know that the procedure should not take more than 2-3 minutes.

In order to get the best results of anorectal manometry, it is advisable for the patients to adhere to the following preparation guidelines in a stringent manner.

  • They should stop eating or drinking anything at least four hours before the test.
  • They should inform the doctors about any medical conditions, especially those related to the digestive and excretory system well in advance.
  • They should share any anxieties or concerns they feel about the procedure with the doctors before the test itself.
  • The patients should prepare themselves mentally to bear the slight discomfort of having the probe inside their anal cavity and the sensations it might cause.
  • They should practice holding and releasing an imagined bowel movement in case they need to simulate the same during the procedure.