Anorectal manometry is a test performed to evaluate patients with constipation or fecal incontinence. This test measures the pressures of the anal sphincter muscles, the sensation in the rectum, and the neural reflexes that are needed for normal bowel movements.
During the test, a small, flexible tube (called a catheter) with a balloon at the end is inserted into the rectum. The small balloon attached to the catheter is slowly inflated. This causes the nerves and muscles in the rectum and anus to begin to squeeze. The catheter is connected to a machine that measures the contractions and relaxations of the rectum and anal sphincter.
The physician interprets the results of the test to optimize treatment of the underling anorectal disorder.