Anorectal Manometry (Anal Manometry)

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Anorectal Manometry

Your child has been referred for anorectal manometry. This is a test performed in our office that is used to evaluate the muscles (sphincters) responsible for helping you poop. The test takes about 5-10 minutes, is painless, and is performed while your child is awake. It is most often used in children with constipation or fecal incontinence but may even be used in infants or adults for other reasons. The following guide will help you understand what to expect and how to prepare for the test. Within one to two weeks following your test, you will have a follow-up visit with your child’s provider to discuss the results and how to proceed.

Before the test 

  •  Read through this packet.
  • You will be contacted with a scheduled date and time
  • Explain to your child how the test will be done. It will not be painful.

Packing checklist

  • Tablet or phone with pre-loaded games or videos that your child likes
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Cozy blanket or favorite stuffed animal

Before you leave the house

  • Give your child an enema 1 hour before leaving the house.
    • 1 – 10 years old – give 2.25-ounce Pediatric Saline Enema
    • 11 – 18 years old – give 4.5-ounce Adult Fleet or Saline Enema
  • Do not eat food or take any medications 2 hours before the scheduled procedure.

When you arrive

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before the test and register at the front desk.
  • Someone will check you and your child in.
  • You will be asked to fill out a short form describing your child’s symptoms.
  • Someone will explain the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form.
  • Your child will be asked to take off his/her pants and underwear. He/She will be asked to lay on his/her left side on the bed. A blanket will be draped over them for privacy.
  • You may stay with your child or wait in the lobby during the test. Children in middle and high school may prefer privacy.
  • A small tube with a balloon will be inserted into the rectum and the balloon will be inflated to different sizes.
  • The tube is connected to a computer, and this will record how well the muscles are working.
  • The test will take less than 15 minutes.

What your child will experience

  • The test does not hurt.
  • Your child will lay on his/her left side on a bed and the small, lubricated tube will be inserted into the rectum
  • The tube and balloon will stay in the rectum for the entire test.
  • The amount of air in the balloon is increased and decreased several times during the test. When the air is increased, your child may feel like he/she needs to poop. but this will only last for a few seconds.
  • Older children will be asked to tell the nurse what he/she feels during the test.
  • Older children will be asked to blow up a balloon or squeeze their butt muscles.

After the test

  • Your child may return to normal activities
  • Discuss the results of the test with your child’s provider at GI For Kids in 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Be sure to ask for a return visit with our front desk