Esophageal manometry is a diagnostic procedure that tests whether the esophagus is working properly. The esophagus is a long, muscular tube connecting pharynx to the stomach. Esophageal manometry measures the rythmic muscular contractions which propagate along the esophagus each time that you swallow. It also measures the strength and coordination of these muscles. Manometry is useful in diagnosing several disorders that affect esophageal function, which may manifest as difficult swallowing, chest pain, or reflux.
During manometry a long, flexible tube (catheter) containing multiple pressure sensors is passed through the nose into the esophagus and proximal stomach. Patients then swallow small sips of water, while muscular contractions are continuously recorded. This is an office procedure done without sedation, as most patients tolerate it well. It lasts 20-30 minutes and patients can drive home, eat and continue their normal activities after the examination.
HOW TO PREPARE
Do not eat or drink anything for 6 to 8 hours before the procedure (small sips of water are allowed until 2 hrs before the test). In addition, some patients may need to follow a clear fluid diet for a day before the procedure, so please check with your doctor in advance. Inform your doctor of all your medications, as you may need to adjust your dosages or stop taking some medications temporarily.
You will get the results within 24 hrs. As these may be part of a workup for surgery, or may define the cause of your symptoms, you will have time for a detailed discussion with your doctor.