An anorectal manometry test can help find the cause of problems like fecal incontinence and difficulty passing stools. The Centers for Digestive Health offers painless anorectal manometry procedures at its offices in Highland, Merrillville, Gary, Dyer, Crown Point, and DeMotte, Indiana, so you can treat your symptoms correctly. Call your nearest office today for more information or book an appointment online.
An anorectal manometry test measures the function of your anal sphincters to see why you might be having problems passing stools.
Your anus has two sphincters, one internal and one external, that consist of strong muscles. These muscles open and close your anus, and their role is to control when you pass stools during a bowel movement.
You might need to have an anorectal manometry test if you're experiencing symptoms such as:
Fecal incontinence means leaking liquid from your bowels or passing stools before you're ready. It can happen with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other disorders that affect the rectal and anal muscles.
Constipation is where your stools become dry and hard, making them difficult to pass. If the stool mass becomes too large, you could suffer a fecal impaction.
Sometimes, difficulties passing stools aren't due to constipation but a nerve dysfunction in your rectum or anus.
You need to make sure your bowels are empty before the anorectal manometry procedure. To achieve this, you should stop eating and drinking after midnight on the night before your test and give yourself a saline laxative enema 2-3 hours before your test.
To perform an anorectal manometry procedure, your provider at the Centers for Digestive Health inserts a catheter – a slim, flexible tube – into your anus, past the anal sphincter, and along your rectum. The catheter has a balloon on its end, which your provider gradually inflates.
The inflating balloon activates the nerves in your rectum and anus that tell your muscles to start squeezing. The other end of the catheter goes to a device that records how your rectum and anal sphincter contract and relax.
You may feel a little pressure as the catheter goes into your rectum, but it shouldn't be painful, and you don't need a sedative or anesthetic. The test shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to complete.
After your anorectal manometry, your provider at the Centers for Digestive Health examines the results and discusses their findings with you.
You might need to make dietary changes to tackle constipation or take medications to address IBD symptoms. Muscle-strengthening exercises may also help, depending on the cause of your condition. Few patients need to undergo surgery; it is typically a last resort.
To learn more about anorectal manometry and why you might need this test, call the Centers for Digestive Health today or book an appointment online.