Ano-rectal Manometry

Ano-rectal manometry measures many of the components needed for normal bowel movements. You might need this test if you have a bowel problem.

Ano-rectal manometry measures the strength of your anal sphincter muscles, movements of your rectal and anal muscles, sensation in your rectum and nerve reflexes needed for bowel movements.

Why it is Done

You might have ano-rectal manometry if you have a bowel control problem or constipation.

What to Expect

Ano-rectal manometry is an outpatient procedure.

At home before having ano-rectal manometry, you give yourself enemas to clean out your digestive system. Your doctor provides instructions about not eating and drinking before the procedure.

During the procedure, you lie on your side, and your doctor inserts a narrow tube into your anus and rectum. The tube is connected to a computer that provides readings for your doctor to evaluate. A small balloon on the end of the tube may be inflated once it’s inside you to help measure reflexes. Your doctor asks you to alternately relax, squeeze and push (as if you were having a bowel movement).

The test takes only about 30 minutes, and you feel minimal discomfort, if any.

What the Risks Are

Ano-rectal manometry is a safe procedure with few risks. Rare complications include tearing or bleeding of the rectum.

The balloon used during this test is latex. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex.

Our gastroenterology specialists are experienced in comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of colorectal problems, including performing ano-rectal manometry.

Find an Aurora Health Care GI Specialist