What is Esophageal Manometry?
Esophageal manometry, also known as esophageal motility testing, is a procedure that measures the strength and function of the muscles in your esophagus (the food pipe) that work to push food and liquids from the mouth down to the stomach.
Esophageal Manometry Procedure
Once the nurse has verified that you have not eaten anything within six hours of the study, one nostril is anesthetized with a numbing lubricant. While you are sitting upright, a thin flexible plastic tube approximately one-quarter inch in diameter is passed through the anesthetized nostril, down the back of the throat, and into the esophagus as you swallow. ) With further swallowing, the tube is passed down into the stomach. There may be some gagging during some of the passage, but it is easily controlled by following instructions.
Once the tube is inside your esophagus, you will lie down on your back. After a short rest to allow the pressures to equilibrate, the test will begin. The pressures generated by the esophageal muscle will be measured when at rest and during swallows. During the test, the nurse asks the patient to swallow some water on command (called a “wet swallow”). Multiple swallows are tested, and pressure recordings are made throughout the study. Once the test is over, the tube is withdrawn.
Esophageal manometry takes about 20-30 minutes. Patients can usually resume regular activity, eating, and medicines immediately after the test.
Esophageal Manometry Preparation
Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the test, and continue to fast until your test is over. If you have diabetes, skipping breakfast may affect your need for diabetic medication. Generally one-half of your usual dose of diabetic medication is taken the morning of the test. This should be reviewed with your physician or health care provider.
Medications that are not essential should not be taken on the day of the test until after the test is completed. These medications include:
- Pain medications, such as Demerol, codeine, morphine, Percodan and Percocet
- Sedatives or tranquilizers, such as Valium, Librax, Ativan, Elavil and Thorazine
- Antispasmodics, such as Bentyl, Donnatal, Levsin and Robinul
- Promotility agents, such as Reglan (metoclopradime)
- Erythromycin and Motilium (domperidone)
Medications that need to be taken regularly, such as high blood pressure and heart medication, can be taken with small sips of water when you awaken in the morning.
If you have any questions about specific medication, ask your physician or nurse.