Esophageal manometry is a test that measures the pressures and the pattern of muscle contractions in your esophagus. It is used as part of the evaluation of symptoms of pain, heartburn or difficulty swallowing. It is often done before and after medical or surgical treatment of the esophagus. Preparation involves being NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for 6-8 hours prior the exam. In addition, various medications will need to be held for a few days prior so that the esophagus can be studied in it’s ‘natural state.’ On the day of the exam, the physician (in our practice, it would be Dr. Castillo) passes a very thin soft flexible tube through the nose into the esophagus. During the exam, the patient is asked to swallow (either just saliva or water), while pressure measurements are recorded. The test generally lasts about 1 hour. The patient is not sedated since he/she needs to be able to follow instructions during the procedure. While the patient may experience slight gagging during an esophageal manometry, serious complications are exceedingly rare.
For more information, please refer to the ASGE (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) website.