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As with any ailment or medical condition, evaluation is the first step toward developing a plan of treatment for patients. Patients who experience continued issues correlated with bowel movements, including fecal incontinence and constipation, may benefit from anorectal manometry. It may also be an optimal choice for patients experiencing a range of other complications, including injuries to the anorectal area and irritable bowel syndrome. This procedure, which is non-invasive, can be performed by a member of our expert team to help determine what is causing discomfort, allowing for the journey toward treatment to begin.  

What is Anorectal Manometry?

Anorectal manometry is a regularly performed test designed to determine if the anal muscles and the rectum are functioning properly. The anorectal sphincter, which encompasses these muscles, is responsible for controlling stool release from the body. Several issues can arise in the anorectal sphincter, including improper timing of movement, tightening, or loosening. Loss of control or loosening of the muscles may lead to undesired leakage of stool, while tightening of the muscles may lead to constipation-related symptoms. Anorectal manometry can help determine which of these issues is leading to the patient’s symptoms. This test is designed to measure a variety of factors surrounding the anorectal sphincter, including muscle pressure, reflexes that are essential for regular bowel movements, and sensation in the area spanning between the anus and the large intestine (the rectum).

Anorectal Manometry


The test takes approximately 30 minutes. The nurse will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. You will then lie on your left side. The catheter is then inserted into the rectum and secured with tape. During the test the nurse will ask you to squeeze, relax, and push at various times. The anal sphincter muscle pressures are measured during each of these maneuvers. To squeeze, the patient tightens the sphincter muscles as if trying to prevent anything from coming out. To push or bear down, the patient strains down as if trying to have a bowel movement. The neural reflexes will be tested utilizing a small balloon which will be inflated with different volumes of air.  

An anal sphincter electromyography (EMG), a test to evaluate the nerve supply to the anal muscle may also be done.  

Anorectal Manometry Recovery and Aftercare 

Because this procedure is noninvasive and relatively simple in nature, complications are not typically expected. Patients are normally able to drive themselves home after the procedure has been completed. 


Next Steps

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Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Anorectal Manometry

Centers for Gastroenterology provides its patients with the best care in Northern Colorado. Our comprehensive services include diagnosis, medical management, and endoscopic treatment of diseases affecting the digestive system. For premier anorectal manometry testing in Northern Colorado, contact Centers for Gastroenterology today to schedule an appointment.



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