Anorectal manometry

What’s the test for?

This test measures the pressures that your muscles in your back passage can generate.

You may be referred for this test if you have been experiencing troublesome bowel problems.  These problems can often be caused by injuries or weakness to the muscles in your back passage or problems with the wall of your back passage (anal canal).

About the procedure

This test evaluates the function of the muscles in your back passage and rectum. To do this we insert a small flexible tube (only 3 mm thick) into the back passage with a small balloon attached.

Once this is in the correct position you will be asked to cough, squeeze and push several times to assess the strength of your back passage.

Following this, we will test how sensitive your back passage is by slowly inflating the balloon on the end of the tube and asking you to tell us when you feel it. You may feel a strong urge to defecate but this sensation will pass immediately once the balloon is deflated.

If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £1,060.

How to prepare

You do not need any special preparation for your appointment. You may eat and drink as normal and continue with any normal medication.

What can be learned

The pressure sensors on the tube allow us to measure the strength of your muscles.  The balloon helps us to see how sensitive your rectum is. This is a very useful test for people with faecal incontinence, constipation or prior to surgery in the pelvic floor region.

Following your test, your data will be analysed, and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to both you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation.

Information leaflet
Information leaflet

Find more information about this test using our PDF download.


Sam and Jordan were fantastic and made what could have been an ordeal much more tolerable. Five-star service all the way. Thank you!

Manchester Patient