What is anorectal manometry?

Anorectal manometry (ARM) is a test that measures the functionality of the rectum and anal sphincter. The ARM test is given to people who suffer from:

  • Fecal incontinence – a loss of bowel control
  • Constipation – less than 3 bowel movements per week

The lower digestive system consists of the large intestine (ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon), rectum and anus. The rectum and anus are connected at the end of the digestive tract. The anal sphincter is the ring of muscles that control the opening and closing of the anus. The ARM test will check to see how sensitive the rectum is and how well it’s working. Anorectal manometry also tests the strength of the muscles of the anus.

What can I expect during the ARM test?

We will perform a rectal exam first to check for any other issues. During anorectal manometry, a catheter with an attached balloon will be passed through the anus to the rectum. Once inside the body, the balloon will be inflated to check pressure levels and sensations. After the results are conducted, you may be asked to squeeze or push out the balloon. The ARM test usually takes 25 minutes to conduct. Following your appointment, you will be able to return home immediately. This test can be done at our practice in Torrance, California, and does not require a trip to the hospital. When your results are ready, we will share them with you to provide insight on what is causing your symptoms. This test is available to both women and men.

Schedule an appointment in Southern California

If you suffer from fecal incontinence, constipation or your child suffers from Hirschsprung’s disease, schedule an appointment at South Bay Urology. Our physicians have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat these symptoms. Once we know what is causing your incontinence or constipation issues, we will discuss the proper treatment plan. Request an appointment on our website or give us a call at (310) 542-0199 to get help.


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