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To assess the function of the large intestine (or ‘colon’), a colonic manometry test can directly record the pressure waves. This is done by placing a thin plastic tube or probe with pressure sensors through the rectum and into the colon during a colonoscopy by your gastroenterologist or sometimes by a radiologist, who guides it in using fluoroscopy or video X-ray study.
Need for, or a past history of, colon surgery
Congenital conditions such as Hirschsprung’s disease
Prior to reattaching the large bowel after a previous surgery for resection of a portion of the colon
Before the test: Your child will need to follow a protocol for bowel cleanout. Sometimes it may be necessary for your child to be admitted to the inpatient unit for a bowel cleanout prior to the test. On the morning of the test, your child should not eat or drink anything because this can cause problems with anesthesia.
- Colonoscopy: Your doctor will place the probe using a flexible tube with camera, called colonoscope. The procedure typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. During the colonoscopy, your doctor may take small tissue samples, called biopsy, from the gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor will come out and meet you in the waiting area to give you a full report of the colonoscopy, and escort you to your child in the recovery area.
After the colonoscopy is completed: Your child will have the probe going through the rectum into the large intestine. This probe is connected by a set of wires to a portable recorder that your child can carry around for the duration of the study. Once they are awake, and a bed is available, your child will be taken into the inpatient unit. We ask that at least one parent stay with the child at the hospital during the study to record on a diary.
- Manometry study: There will be a set of instructions (or protocol) on when your child can or cannot eat, and when medicine(s) will be given to assess their effects on the colonic activity. When appropriate, meals can be ordered through the On-Call Dining Menu. A couple of X-rays will be performed at intervals to assess the position of the probe during the study period. Typically the probe stays in for about 24 hours. After the protocol is completed, the probe is removed at bedside and the information stored in the recorder is uploaded to the computer for analysis.
- Results of the test: Your doctor will provide you with the results as they become available. You will be asked to return for a visit to discuss results of all the tests your child may have undergone, and to discuss options and plans.
Our team of doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and technicians will help you through the process. Contact our team at 202-476-3032. Please do let us know of any questions you may have. Reach out to Patient Experience Liason Michele Grady, 202-476-6160, for questions regarding your overnight stay in the hospital or learn more about having surgery at Children's National and what to expect.