Colonic Manometry

The purpose of colonic manometry is to determine how well your child's colon works. The colon is also known as the large intestine. This is the site where stool is formed, stored and then passed out.

Manometry is the measurement of pressure or contractions in the large intestine.

  • If your child is old enough, explain to your child how the test is done at a time that you feel is best. The nurse will help you with this.
  • It may be helpful for your child to bring a favorite toy, video or game. This will make your child more comfortable during the test.
Colonic Manometry
  • Some medications may interfere with this test. You may be asked to stop certain medications up to 72 hours before the test.
  • Reassure your child that you will be with him/her during the entire test.
  • Feeding instructions: Your child's colon must be clean to place the tube. Your child must be on a clear liquid diet for 48 hours before the test. Clear liquids include sugar water, Kool-Aid, Jell-O, popsicles, apple juice, ginger ale and water. Your child should have a standard, laxative preparation the day before the test. Some children may need to be admitted to the hospital to assure that the colon is cleansed adequately before the study. The nurse will provide more information about preparation.
  • It is very important that your child drink lots of clear liquids to make this preparation work.

  • When a child has antro-duodenal manometry done at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, it will start in the Endoscopy Suite or the Radiology Department where your child will lie on a table in an X-ray room.
  • A pediatric anesthesiologist will administer anesthesia, a gas that helps your child sleep during the test.
  • Once your child is asleep, an intravenous (IV) line will be started to keep him / her hydrated.
The purpose of colonic manometry is to determine how well your child's colon works.
  • The doctor will place the tube that will be used for this test. The tube will go through the rectum and into the colon. The placement of this tube will be done using a colonoscope. A colonoscope is a hose-like tube with a light and camera at the end used to look at the colon. The colonoscope will then be taken out and the tube will be left inside the colon. It will extend from the colon, out through the rectum, and secured in place with tape to your child's inner thigh.
  • Your child will go to the Recovery Room or the wake-up room to wake up. Your child will then be taken to a room on the floor for the remainder of the test.
  • For the rest of the evening, your child will be free to do any activities that he/she can do in bed. The actual test will begin early the next morning.
  • The tube will be connected to a small pump that will very slowly push water into the tube and into your child's colon. This in turn is connected to a computer. As your child's colon tightens around the tube, the flow of water stops, and the doctor is able to watch the activity of your child's colon on the computer. 
  • During the test your child will have to remain in bed.
  • As part of the test your child may be given a meal and/or medication.
  • The test will run for about 4-6 hours. Your child's entire hospital stay will be about 23 hours, unless other tests are scheduled.

What will my child feel during the test?

  • This test does not cause pain, but sometimes the child may have some cramping when medicines are given to stimulate the colon during the test.
  • Sometimes a small amount of water may leak from your child's bottom during the test.
  • Removing the tape holding the tube in place after the test may be uncomfortable.
  • Removing the tube is not painful.
  • Your child may return to a normal diet, play and activities.
  • Your child's doctor will discuss the results of the test with you.

Last Updated 10/2012