Anorectal Manometry: Explained by Gastroenterologist of AMRI Hospitals

Anorectal manometry is a medical examination conducted to evaluate the rectum and the anal canal (bowel functions) in patients suffering from constipation or fecal incontinence. Through this test, the pressures and functions of the anal sphincter muscles are measured, along with sensation in the rectum that controls bowel movements.

How to prepare for the procedure?

The patient needs to be well-prepared so that there is no scope for stool to pass through the rectum during the examination. The doctor will advise:

  • Fast at least for two hours before the test
  • Empty bowels before the test
  • Need to give yourself a fleet enema (2-3 hours prior to test)

(Fleet enemas are easily available at a local pharmacy or any drug store)

Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure should be discussed before the examination. Your concerned doctor will let you know the adjustment of medications accordingly. In most cases, the test will not intrude on your usual medicine schedule.

How does the procedure work?

AMRI Hospitals’ gastroenterologist explains that Anorectal Manometry is simple and takes about 30-40 minutes, requiring no anaesthesia and the patient is free to resume normal activities after the test.

During the test, the patient will lie on the side, and a catheter (small flexible tube) with a balloon on one end is inserted through the anal opening into the rectum. The small balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated in the rectum, causing nerves and muscles to begin to contract and relax. With the help of a connected machine, the doctor will assess the normal reflex pathways of the rectum and anal sphincter.

What will happen after the test?

Your gastroenterologist will discuss the test results of manometry and if there are no complications, the patient will be able to return home to perform routine activities. In case of any difficulty, the doctor will plan the right treatment according to the condition and its severity. Minor problems can be treated through medications, muscle strengthening exercises, and change in dietary plan. If any serious complication is noticed, the doctor can suggest going for surgical repair.

Are there any risks involved in the Anorectal Manometry test?

Anorectal manometry is a relatively safe and low-risk procedure. The patient is not likely to feel any discomfort or pain throughout the examination. It is rare to witness any complications, especially if it is performed by a specialist. Going to an unauthorized consultant may cause risks and a patient may undergo bleeding of the rectum or other serious complications. If someone experiences any unusual symptoms, inform the doctor immediately to prevent infection or side effects.

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