Esophageal manometry is a test that measures pressure and movement in the esophagus, the tube that transports food particles from the mouth to the stomach. When you swallow, muscles in the esophagus move food down the digestive track by contracting and expanding in waves. Valves at the top and bottom of the esophagus open let food and liquids enter and exit, and close to keep gastic acid from coming in to the esophagus.
Esophageal manometry measures how well these muscles are working. It is a relatively simple test that involves passing a tube through the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach. An abnormality in the functioning of these muscles may lead to problems with dysphagia (swallowing), heartburn or acid reflux, esophageal spasms, or chest pain that mimics heart attack.
What to Expect
You will need to stop eating and drinking at least eight hours prior to the test (overnight if your procedure is scheduled for the morning). Be sure to talk to your doctor about your medical history and all medications you are taking. You may need to discontinue some medications such as proton pump inhibitors and antacids before the procedure; your doctor will be able to give you specific instructions.
You will not need to be sedated for this procedure, but a topical anesthetic may be used to ease discomfort in your nose. You will be seated while a thin, flexible, pressure-sensitive tube is passed down one nostril, through the throat, and into the esophagus. The tube will not interfere with your breathing although you may experience some minor discomfort and a gagging sensation. Once the tube is in place, you will be asked to lie on your left side and swallow several times. The pressure exerted by your esophagus will be measured in different locations along the tube and recorded. The tube will then be slowly removed.
You may experience a sore throat or nose bleed after the test, but these conditions are usually mild and temporary. You can resume normal activities, including eating and drinking, immediately following the test.
Esophageal Manometry. We offer treatments for patients residing in Chicago (Lincoln Park, Lake View, Bucktown, West Town, Logan Square, Hermosa, Belmont Cragin, Belmont Gardens, Avondale, North Center, Irving Park, Portage Park, Albany Park Lincoln Square, Near West Side, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Downtown) and Chicago Suburbs (Oak Park, Cicero, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, River Grove, River Forest, Berwy, Skokie, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Maywood, Stone Park Schiller Park).