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How does anorectal manometry help diagnose fecal incontinence?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
A doctor may use anorectal manometry to measure the pressure inside your rectum and anal sphincters. After you have an enema, the clinician inserts into your rectum a small flexible tube (about the width of a rectal thermometer). The tube has a deflated balloon at the end. As you rest, squeeze, and bear down, the pressure inside your rectum and inside each sphincter is recorded on a polygraph-like display. This testing helps the clinician assess the strength of your sphincters and determine whether they are relaxing and constricting at the proper times.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.