Anorectal manometry test

Anorectal Manometry is a test administered by a doctor, specifically a gastroenterologist. It is used to determine problems associated with fecal incontinence or harsh constipation.

­­When a patient complains of constipation or similar symptoms a physician may recommend an anorectal manometry to determine whether the anal sphincter muscles are functioning correctly. An anorectal manotmetry is a relatively simple procedure which aids in diagnosis.

An individual's anal sphincter muscles may be malfunctioning because of old surgery or other causes. A patient must do some simple preparations before the test is administered. Avoid eating for two hours prior to the procedure. Administer an enema before the procedure to remove any fecal matter in the anal tube. At the doctor's office, don a hospital gown. Though the procedure is very simple, a very anxious person may want to take a sedative. There may be some discomfort or slight pain in the procedure.

A patient lies down on an examination table. A short metal or plastic probe is inserted into the anal passage and the probe receptors record sphincter muscle contractions and releases, measuring the muscle movements for comparison to normative movements. This requires the patient to contract and relax their sphincter muscles. The measurements are made along the entire anal passage. A rubber balloon is inflated inside the anus to mimic a bowl movement, and a patient may expel the balloon in a bowel movement. This process is timed and compared to normal bowel movement. The procedure is complete and the patient may dress and return to their routine.

If the receptors have recorded high sphincter muscle pressure it would cause constipation. If the receptor records lesser sphincter muscle pressure it would cause incontinence. By measuring the muscle movement along the whole anal passage, the area of muscle causing problems can be found. This leads to diagnosis. For example, internal sphincter muscles should relax when the bowel is full and failure to do so would indicate a disease like Hirschsprungs.

An anorectal Manometry can benefit a patient by diagnosing any problems associated with constipation or fecal incontinence. The diagnosis from the test aids doctors in treating the patient.

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