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Anorectal Motility Study

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Anorectal motility study is a test used to measure how well the muscles and nerves in the rectum and anus are working. This test may also be called anorectal manometry. The anus is where bowel movements (stool) pass out of the body. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine. This test will help the doctor determine the cause of your child’s constipation and/or fecal incontinence (leakage of stool).

Preparing for the Test

  • You will give your child saline enemas before the test. The salty water will flush the rectum and clean out any stool. The nurse will give you specific directions for your child's saline enemas.
  • Your child may eat as usual before this test.
  • Give your child his/her usual medications.
  • Bring a favorite blanket, toy, or music to comfort your child.
  • This is not a painful test and will take approximately 30 minutes.

What happens during the test?

  • Your child’s rectum will be examined by the doctor.
  • A small tube with a flat latex balloon at the tip of the tube will be gently inserted into the rectum by the doctor. Make sure to tell us before the test if your child has a latex allergy.
  • Once the tube is inserted, the doctor will slowly remove the tube.
  • While the doctor is removing the tube, your child will be asked to squeeze, relax, and push so the pressures in the rectum and anus can be measured.
  • The balloon connected to the tube will be then be filled with air while the tube is still inside your child’s rectum
  • Your child will be asked if he/she feels any sensations or a need to have a bowel movement. Please let us know if your child uses a different word for bowel movement.
  • The air will be let out of the balloon and the doctor will gently remove the tube.

What happens after the test?

  • Your child’s doctor will contact you with the test results.
  • Your child can have his/her normal diet.
  • Your child can continue his/her normal activities.
  • Call your child’s doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Disclaimer:This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 06/2011

(757) 668-7000