The lower digestive system consists of the large intestine (ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon), rectum and anus. The rectum acts as a temporary storage area for feces - the waste product of the digestive system. The rectum connects to the anus and is the end of the digestive system.
Anorectal manometry is a test that measures how well the rectum and anal sphincter are working. The anal sphincter is the ring of muscles that control the opening and closing of the anus.
It is performed to check how sensitive the rectum is and how well it is working. The test also checks the strength of the muscles of the anus. These muscles control the opening and closing of the anus.
The anorectal manometry test is commonly given to people who have:
A small tube (called a catheter) is inserted into the anus, passing a ring of muscles called the anal sphincter, before passing into the rectum. (See the illustration of the lower portion of the digestive system). A small balloon at the tip of the catheter is gradually inflated. This causes the nerves and muscles in the rectum and anus to begin to squeeze. The end of the tube remains outside the anus. It is connected to a machine that records the contractions and relaxations of the rectum and anal sphincter.
Treatment depends on how severe the problem is and what’s causing it. Generally, treatment options include:
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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