Sixty-three patients with complete rectal prolapse and/or faecal incontinence have undergone anal manometry and the results have been compared with an equal number of age- and sex-matched controls. Maximal basal pressure (MBP) and maximum squeeze pressure (MSP) were measured before and at four months and a year after treatment. The anal pressures of normal subjects are presented. Patients with rectal prolapse alone had normal anal pressures, whereas patients with incontinence with or without prolapse had significantly lower basal and squeeze pressures than controls. Successful surgical treatment of prolapse or incontinence did not produce significant change in anal canal pressures, whereas the combination of pelvic floor exercises and a continence aid was associated with a significant rise in MSP.
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