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Anorectal Manometry


An anorectal manometry study is used to show muscle function of the rectum and anal sphincter. The test can reveal abnormalities of the anal sphincter muscle which cannot be seen with other examinations.

The Procedure

The procedure takes place in an exam room with no sedation. You will be lying on a patient bed with your clothing removed from the waist down, and a linen covering you as much as possible. The study usually takes about 20 minutes.

  • A small flexible tube (about 1/4″ in diameter) is gently placed into the rectum about 3-4 inches.
  • The tube is moved slightly to record pressures within the rectum and the anal sphincter

Preparing for Your Appointment

A nurse will contact you a few days prior to your appointment to confirm your exam time and answer any questions you may have. The procedure is performed by a Registered Nurse, who is a certified gastrointestinal clinician.

After Your Appointment

Preliminary findings will be discussed with you immediately after the study. However, your physician may ask you to return for another appointment once a more detailed review of your study can be made. After the examination, you may drive yourself home and resume normal eating habits and behavior.


Anorectal manometry studies are very low risk procedures. As with any procedure, complications can occur, but they are rare. It is possible that a perforation (tearing) or bleeding of the intestinal wall could occur. Equipment failure is extremely unlikely but does remain a remote possibility.

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