Anorectal Manometry Instructions

What Is Anorectal Manometry?

You have been scheduled for anorectal manometry, a test performed to evaluate individuals with constipation or fecal incontinence. This test will enable your doctor to obtain information about the pressures and function of the sphincter muscles that help control your bowel movements.

How Is the Test Performed?

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and lie down on your left side with your knees slightly bent.  Please note that because of the sensitive nature of this test, every effort will be made to respect and guard your privacy.

  • A small catheter with a balloon attached to the end will be placed about four inches into your rectum. The catheter may be slowly pulled out and placed back in during the exam.
  • You will be asked to do a series of squeezes, like holding in a bowel movement, followed by bear downs, like pushing out a bowel movement.
  • The balloon at the end of the catheter will then be inflated and deflated a few times. The nurse will ask when you feel a sensation in your rectum or when you feel the urge to have a bowel movement.
  • The nurse will then take out the catheter, and a different catheter will be inserted that will also have a balloon attached to it. The balloon will be inflated with water, and you will asked to sit on a bedside commode to test if you can expel (push out) the balloon within 5 minutes. If you are unable to do so, the nurse will deflate the balloon and take the catheter out for you.
  • The procedure takes approximately 60 minutes to complete.

What Do I Do on the Day of the Test?

  • You will need to take TWO enemas rectally two hours before your procedure. You can purchase these at your local pharmacy or supermarket.
  • Do not eat or drink anything starting two hours before your procedure.
  • You may take your regular medications up to two hours before the procedure with small sips of water.
  • You do not need to have a driver for this test since there is no sedation given.
  • Please check in at least 15 minutes prior to your procedure time.

Please Bring the Following Items with You:

  • Insurance card
  • Picture ID
  • List of your current medications
  • Your primary care physician’s name, address and telephone number

If you need to cancel or reschedule your procedure, please call 860-679-3238 at least 24 hours in advance.

Test results are typically available to your doctor within two weeks.