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Esophageal Manometry

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What is esophageal manometry?

Some people experience difficulty swallowing or chronic acid reflux symptoms. In these cases, it can be helpful to check how the esophageal (food pipe’s) muscles and sphincters (valves) are working. Esophageal manometry is a test that measures the strength and function of your esophageal swallowing muscles and the sphincter muscles forming the barrier between your esophagus and your stomach.

What is involved with this test?

The test is performed in our office. A numbing medication for your nose and throat will be administered to prevent discomfort during the test. Then, a thin, flexible catheter (tube) will be passed into your esophagus through your nose, and you will be asked to swallow small amounts of water. The catheter will take measurements of various muscles’ functioning as you swallow the water.

Most people experience very little discomfort during the test. The test usually lasts less than thirty minutes.

Preparing for the procedure

Your doctor will give you specific instructions about how to prepare for this test. You will be asked to not eat or drink anything for at least four hours before the test, unless instructed otherwise. Make sure your doctor is aware of all medications you regularly take to make sure none of them could interfere with the test.

What can I expect after the esophageal manometry test?

Most people only experience minimal side effects following esophageal manometry. You may have a sore throat or stuffy nose, but both should resolve within a few hours. Minor nosebleeds may also occur.

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