Your doctor has requested an esophageal manometry (eh-soff-eh-JEE-al ma-NOM-eh-tree) test for you. This test is also called esophageal motility. This test measures the strength and muscle coordination of your esophagus (food tube) when you swallow. The test results will help your doctor make a diagnosis in your case.
During this test, a small plastic tube (manometry catheter) is passed through your mouth or nose and down your throat until it reaches the top portion of your stomach (please see diagram below).
The tube is connected to a machine that records the contractions (movements) of your esophageal muscles. The contractions are shown on a graph that will be analyzed by a gastroenterologist, a doctor with training and education in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, who will report the results to your doctor.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test. If you are taking any medications, ask your doctor whether you should continue to do so.
During the test, a nurse or doctor will insert the catheter slowly through your nose or mouth and down the esophagus into your stomach. This may be slightly uncomfortable, but it is not painful. Once in place, the catheter will be attached to a machine to record the contractions of your esophagus.
You will be asked to lie on your back during the test. A small sensor will be taped to your neck to record each time you swallow. During the test you will be asked to swallow. Do not swallow until you are asked to do so.
After each swallow you are asked to take, the tube will be slowly withdrawn. Each time it is withdrawn, a measurement will be taken of another area of your esophagus. It will take 25 to 45 minutes to complete the test. When the test is done, you will be able to leave the hospital.
After the Examination
You may feel a little soreness in your throat for up to a day after the test. This soreness is temporary. Lozenges may help the soreness. You should be able to eat and drink immediately after the test. Your doctor should have the test results within a few days.
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Reviewed April 2011