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Esophageal and Anorectal Manometry

Your Rockford GI doctor may recommend esophageal or anorectal manometry to aid in the diagnosis of various gastrointestinal disorders. They are procedures used to evaluate the function of the esophagus and the rectum/anus, respectively. They assess the muscle pressure and coordination in these areas by using a device called a manometer to measure pressure changes.

Esophageal manometry measures the rhythmic muscle contractions that occur in your esophagus when you swallow, the coordination and force exerted by the esophagus muscles, and how well the ring-shaped muscles at the top and bottom of your esophagus open and close.

This procedure involves the placement of a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through the nose, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. The tube is connected to a manometer that measures pressure. To prepare for an esophageal manometry, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications, fast for a specific period before the test, and refrain from smoking for a number of hours before the procedure.

During the procedure, a topical anesthetic is usually applied inside your nose to ease the insertion of the thin, flexible tube (catheter). You may feel some discomfort as the tube is passed through your nose and into your esophagus, but it is not usually painful.

The patient is usually asked to swallow water at certain intervals during the procedure while the manometer measures the pressure of your esophageal muscles at rest and during swallows. This allows your Rockford GI the doctor to evaluate how well the esophageal muscles contract and relax. The procedure typically takes about 20 minutes.

Esophageal manometry can help diagnose conditions like achalasia, esophageal spasms , ineffective esophageal motility and other motor abnormalities of the esophagus.

In an anorectal manometry test, the strength of the anal sphincter muscles, the sensitivity and function of the rectum, and the reflexes that are necessary for normal bowel movements are evaluated. This test can help to identify the causes of chronic constipation or fecal incontinence.

Preparation for anorectal manometry may involve cleaning out the rectum with a laxative or an enema to ensure accurate results.

During the test, a thin, flexible tube with a balloon on the end is inserted into your rectum. The balloon can be inflated to measure the reflexes and responses of your muscles. While the tube is in place, you might be asked to squeeze, relax, or push at various times.

These procedures are generally safe with a low risk of complications. Minor discomfort might be experienced during the procedures and some patients might have a sore throat (esophageal manometry) or minor rectal irritation (anorectal manometry) afterward.

As always, it’s important to discuss any concerns with your RGA gastroenterologist before undergoing these or any medical procedures. Contact Rockford Gastroenterology Associates to schedule a consultation.

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