The anus has 2 muscles (internal and external sphincters) that help us control our bowel movements. Normally these muscles are closed. When these muscles relax, they open to let the bowel movement out.
Anal manometry studies how well these muscles are working.
Preparing your child for the procedure
- If catheter is placed without anesthesia your child should not eat for 2 hours; if anesthesia is needed, your child should not eat for 8 hours and not drink for 6 hours.
- You will be instructed how and when to give your child an enema before the test.
- Your child will be asked to pee before the test.
- Explain to your child how the test is done (The nurse will help you do it before the test. It may be helpful for your child to bring a favorite toy to make your child more comfortable during the procedure.)
Description of the test
- Your child will lay on a bed on his/her back or side. It is very important that to lies still during the test.
- The doctor will look at the rectum and may insert his/her finger to make sure there is no stool in the way and to lubricate the anal canal.
- A thin flexible catheter with a small balloon at the tip is inserted into the rectum gently. The balloon is slowly inflated with air to different sizes.
- The tube is connected to the manometry machine. The computer screen tells us how well the anal sphincters are working.
- Your child will be asked to tell us what he/she feels in the rectum when we insert air into the balloon.
- Your child will be asked to squeeze hard on the catheter and then cough loudly during the test.
- We might also ask the child to push out the balloon while sitting on a commode.
- Your child may have discomfort during the rectal examination or during catheter insertion.
- The position of the catheter might be adjusted during the test.
- This test does not cause pain, although it may be uncomfortable for your child.
- During the test, parents may be with their child or wait in the waiting area.
- The test will take about 30-60 minutes.
After the test
- Your child may return to a normal diet, play and usual activities once the test is completed.
- Your doctor will discuss the results of the test with you.