Anorectal manometry is a diagnostic procedure performed in children with difficult to treat constipation and/or fecal incontinence (leakage of stool). The aim of this diagnostic tool is to assess the functional ability of the rectum and anal sphincter in the defecation process. It evaluates rectal pressure, the reflexes that govern the bowel, whether child has normal sensation and is using their muscles correctly to hold and pass a stool.
The examination is performed with the child lying down, whereby a small balloon with a catheter is inserted through the anus into the rectum. The balloon is then inflated to mimic a stool and the pressure, reflexes and sensations in the area are studied. The balloon is connected to a manometer via a catheter, which enables data to be gathered. In addition, sensitivity testing of the area is also possible with sensors in the form of stickers placed around the anus.
The examination is painless as the balloon is introduced through the regular stool pathway. It is also a safe procedure, and only in rare cases mild bleeding of the rectal mucus may occur, as a result of irritation.
PREPARATION OF THE CHILD
- It is important to explain to your child how the procedure is to be performed.
- As the rectum should be clean for the procedure, the day before give your child a suppository to stimulate defecation (glycerine or another type as recommended by the doctor who ordered the procedure).
- In children with suspected neurogenic bowel and/or large fecal masses, the cleansing procedure should be started several days prior to the examination, following the doctor’s recommendations.
- On the day of the examination DO NOT use suppositories or enemas as this may affect the results
- The child is allowed to eat and drink normally (the test does not require fasting).
What to bring – recommended:
- complete medical documentation
- Defecating diary
In cases of acute skin or mucous inflammation around in the anal area, anorectal manometry should not be performed!