To ensure that one has easy and smooth bowel movements, muscles in the anus called the sphincter tightens or relaxes whenever an individual is ready to pass bowels.

However, in cases where an individual experiences Gastro-Intestinal issues such as constipation or fecal incontinence, Anorectal Manometry can be suggested to assess the severity of the problem.

Anorectal Manometry is a test conducted to evaluate patients experiencing constipation or difficulty is passing bowels. It measures the pressure of the sphincter and sensation in the rectum, as well as the reflexes of the anal muscles needed for normal bowel movement.

An expert proctologist and an assistant administer the test and it’s a relatively low-risk procedure that only takes an hour or less to complete. Patients can then leave and go about their daily routine without any lingering pain or discomfort.

Test Preparation

As with all medical tests, some form of preparation or guideline is given to patients before they take it. It is advisable to follow these in order to get accurate results and make it easier on the patient:
  • Patients should fast for at least 4 hours before the test. No form of food or drinks is allowed.
  • Patients should divulge all existing medical conditions to their practitioner, especially those that affect their digestive and excretory systems, before the procedure.
  • Before the test, patients are advised to ask all the questions they want answered and share any concerns about the procedure so the doctors can allay their worries.
  • Patients should mentally prepare for and expect the slight discomfort and sensation of a foreign object being inserted in their anal cavity.
  • To help with the discomfort and to make the test proceed smoothly, patients should practice holding and releasing their sphincters in order to simulate bowel movement.

Important Facts

Not all patients encountering constipation or fecal mobility are advised to undergo the procedure. Patients are meticulously selected based on a few other conditions. This could include indications of systemic disease, nerve damage due to past surgeries, or presence of anorectal muscle disease.

While the procedure is fairly safe and low-risk, it is not recommended for people allergic to the materials used in the probe, mainly latex and rubber. It is also not an advisable test for those suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding.

For individuals who will undergo the procedure, expect a slight discomfort from the probe.