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Anorectal manometry is a test that is performed to evaluate the reflexes and strength of the muscles needed for performance of a normal bowel movement. The test is usually performed on individuals who are struggling with constipation or fecal incontinence. The test analyzes the pressure of the anal sphincter muscles, the sensation in the rectum, and the reflexes of the bowel muscles.
You will need to “clean out” your bowels prior to the examination. This can be accomplished using a laxative drink, and fasting the day before your appointment. You should speak with your doctor about the specific preparations you should take before your examination.
You will not be sedated during the exam, and will lie on your side. A technician or nurse will slowly insert a small flexible tube through your anal sphincter and into the rectum. You may feel slightly uncomfortable, however, should feel no pain. Measurements will be taken based on the response of your internal muscles, and interpreted by your gastroenterologist.
The exam will last between 10 and 20 minutes, and you will discuss your results with your gastroenterologist immediately afterwards. Following your results, you will be free to go home and resume your normal diet and activities.
Anorectal Manometry is a low-risk procedure that is unlikely to cause any pain. While complications are uncommon, a few of the possible risks are: perforation (tearing) of the rectum, bleeding, and equipment failure. If you are allergic to latex, you should inform your nurse or technician before the test is performed.
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