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HF 7904

Anorectal Manometry Study for Your Child

Anal Manometry is a test that studies the muscles and nerves of the anorectal area. Strength and tone of the anal sphincter is measured. This test is done when a child has problems with constipation or bowel control.

Getting Ready

Your child needs to have an empty rectum for the best results. The night before the study, give your child ___ 10mg bisacodyl suppository, OR give 1 _____ saline enema. 

How to Give the Enema 

  1. Have your child lay on their left side and pull their knees up to their chest. 

  2. Gently insert the lubricated enema tip into their anal canal. 

  3. Slowly squeeze the enema bottle to get the liquid into their rectum. 

  4. Gently remove the tip, and apply mild pressure to their buttocks. This helps hold the liquid in. They should hold the liquid in for 5-10 minutes if they can. 

  5. Sit on the toilet and have a bowel movement. 

Day of Study

If this is the only test scheduled, your child may have a light breakfast. The study takes about an hour. Parents may be with their child during the test unless it is done in the operating room. 

A small catheter tube is put in the rectum. The catheter is about the size of a straw. It is attached to a machine that measures pressure. A small balloon at the tip of the catheter is slowly inflated. Your child will be asked to squeeze and push their sphincter muscles during the study. It should feel very close to passing a bowel movement.

 The child needs to be able to tell us when they feel pressure from the balloon (i.e. when they feel like they need to pass stool). They also need to follow these simple commands:

  • Rest 

  • Squeeze 

  • Bear down 

  • Push out

After the test your child may need to do another test called a balloon expulsion test. 

Balloon Expulsion Test

This test looks at how your child passes stool. It watches how the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles work together. A small balloon is placed into the rectum. It is filled with water, to feel like stool being present. Your child will be seated on a toilet. Then the child will be asked to push out the balloon (have a bowel movement). We record the length of time it takes to expel the balloon.

Follow Up 

Results of this study will be given to your child’s primary GI provider. Please allow 10-14 days for your provider to review all reports.

American Family Children’s Hospital

Gastroenterology Clinic

1675 Highland Av. Madison, WI 53792

(608) 263-6420

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.