anorectal manometry

What is anorectal manometry?

The lower digestive system consists of the large intestine (ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon), rectum and anus. The rectum acts as a temporary storage area for feces -- the waste product of the digestive system. The rectum connects to the anus and is the end of the digestive system.

Anorectal manometry is a test that measures how well the rectum and anal sphincter are working. The anal sphincter is the ring of muscles that control the opening and closing of the anus.

It is performed to check how sensitive the rectum is and how well it is working. The test also checks the strength of the muscles of the anus. These muscles control the opening and closing of the anus.

When would anorectal manometry be needed?

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

  • Fecal incontinence (can’t control bowels, results in 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)

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2015.

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