What is anorectal manometry?

Anorectal manometry is a test that measures how well the rectum and anal sphincters work together to eliminate stool (feces).

The anal sphincter has an internal and external sphincter, or valve, which helps to control continence (passing) of stool. These valves are made of muscles that control the opening and closing of the anus. The test is performed to see how well it is working.

What are the parts of the lower digestive system?

The lower digestive system consists of the:

  • Large intestine.
    • Ascending colon.
    • Transverse colon.
    • Descending colon.
    • Sigmoid colon.
  • Rectum.
  • Anus.

The end of the digestive tract is the rectum, which acts as a temporary storage area for feces or stool (the waste product of digestive system). The rectum holds the stool until defecation occurs. During defecation, stool is propelled out through the anus.

When would anorectal manometry be needed?

The anorectal manometry test is commonly given to people who have:

  • Difficult passing stool.
  • Fecal incontinence (can’t control bowels and this results in a leakage of feces).
  • Constipation (less than three bowel movements a week).
  • Hirschsprung’s disease in children (a disease that can cause a blockage in the large intestine).

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