If you have fecal incontinence or chronic constipation, you may need to undergo an anal manometry study to determine whether your anal muscles work correctly. Dr. Kofi Nuako at Advanced Gastroenterology has extensive experience performing anal manometry, which is a safe procedure that doesn’t require sedation. If you have any questions about your gastrointestinal health or need to schedule anal manometry, please call the office in Union City, Tennessee.
An anal manometry study tests the strength of your anal sphincter and checks the sensitivity of your rectum.
The rectum is a temporary storage area for waste. The muscles that form the anal sphincter are responsible for holding in the waste until you sit on the toilet, then they relax so you can have a bowel movement. You have two anal sphincter muscles:
The internal sphincter contracts when you’re at rest and sleeping to prevent stool and gas from escaping. Since it’s an involuntary smooth muscle, you can’t control its activity.
The external sphincter is a thick muscle wrapped around the internal sphincter. You can control this sphincter – it’s the muscle you squeeze when you need to hold in gas or stool.
Dr. Nuako may recommend an anal manometry study if you have:
Fecal incontinence, or stool leakage, may be caused by diarrhea or constipation. It also develops when the sphincter muscle is weak or damaged, or when nerves that control the rectum and sphincter don’t work correctly. You can also develop fecal incontinence when inflammatory bowel disease damages the rectum.
Constipation can be caused by many problems, including lack of dietary fiber, slow movement of stool through the large intestine, and intestinal blockages. In some cases, the anal sphincter doesn’t relax to allow stool elimination.
You shouldn’t eat in the two hours before your study. You’ll also need to give yourself an enema and talk with Dr. Nuako about medications you may take to see if the doses should be adjusted before your procedure.
Anal manometry is performed using a narrow, flexible tube that has a balloon at the end of the tube. Dr. Nuako inserts the balloon end of the tube through your anal sphincter into the rectum, then attaches the other end to a machine that measures pressure.
A catheter will be inserted through your anal sphincter into the rectum, it will then be attached to the other end of a machine that measures pressure.You may also be asked to squeeze your sphincter, try to push the balloon out or to relax.
The procedure only takes about 30 minutes. When it’s finished, the response of your rectum and the tightness of your sphincter muscle can be evaluated.
If you struggle with fecal incontinence or constipation, please call Advanced Gastroenterology or book an appointment online.