Anorectal Manometry

Anorectal Manometry services offered in Midlothian, N. Chesterfield, Short Pump, Henrico, Richmond and Mechanicsville, VA

Anorectal manometry is a test you might require for symptoms like fecal incontinence or chronic constipation. At their eight offices in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Mechanicsville, Virginia, the Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team has considerable experience performing anorectal manometry. With their help, you can find out what’s causing your symptoms and get the treatment you need. To benefit from their expertise in anorectal manometry, call Richmond Gastroenterology Associates today or book an appointment online.

Anorectal Manometry Q & A

What is anorectal manometry? 

Anorectal manometry is a procedure that evaluates how well your anal sphincter muscles are working. The sphincter is the muscular ring in your anus that opens during a bowel movement, then closes afterward.

To perform anorectal manometry, your Richmond Gastroenterology Associates provider inserts a catheter (slender, flexible tube) fitted with a special balloon and pressure sensors into your anus. Using the catheter, they measure the coordination and strength of your anal sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. They can also assess the sensation in your rectum.

Why would I need anorectal manometry?

Anorectal manometry is particularly useful for identifying weak anal sphincters, so the most likely reason for needing this procedure is fecal incontinence. This is a distressing problem where you can’t hold in stools long enough to reach a toilet.

You might find the urge comes on suddenly and gives you little time to act. Or you might pass stools (often loose or liquid ones) without realizing you need to go to the bathroom. A common cause of fecal incontinence is IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). One of the IBD conditions, ulcerative colitis, is particularly likely to trigger fecal incontinence.

The main problem with patients getting treatment is that they feel embarrassed talking about fecal incontinence. It’s normal to feel anxious about something so private, but the Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team has well-trained staff who put you at ease. These skilled professionals can find the cause and provide effective treatment.

The other reason you might require anorectal manometry is if you have chronic constipation (hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass).

What happens when I have anorectal manometry?

You need to ensure your bowels are empty before having anorectal manometry. Your provider will advise you not to eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure. You also need to flush your bowel and rectum 2-3 hours before anorectal manometry using an enema (a fluid you put in your rectum).

Anorectal manometry doesn’t usually require sedation. You lie on your side, and your provider slowly inserts a narrow, flexible tube through the anal sphincter. You might feel a little discomfort as the tube goes into your rectum, but it shouldn’t be painful.

When the tube is in position, your provider attaches the exposed end to a machine that records how the muscles in your rectum and anal sphincter contract and relax. When they have all the information they need, your provider carefully pulls the tube out. Anorectal manometry takes about 10-20 minutes to complete.

To find out more about anorectal manometry and get help for fecal incontinence, call Richmond Gastroenterology Associates today or book an appointment online.