What to Expect from an Esophageal Manometry

If you suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, difficulty swallowing or chest pain, your Atlanta, GA physician may recommend an outpatient test called esophageal manometry. This test is used to diagnose problems with pressure and movement in the esophagus, which can lead to symptoms of heartburn. An esophageal manometry test measures the muscle coordination and strength of your esophagus during swallowing.

Before having your esophageal manometry, your doctor will tell you to refrain from eating, typically for eight hours. Although you will not be under sedation, you’ll receive a topical anesthetic on your nose to allow for a small, flexible tube to more comfortably pass through your nose, through your esophagus, continuing on into your stomach. You will see be able to breathe while the tube is in place. You will be seated while the tube is being placed, but you will lie on your left side once the tube is in place. You be asked to swallow and drink water during the test. The test may last up to 40 minutes.

After your esophageal manometry, you may resume your regular diet, but you may feel some temporary throat soreness, which will go away.

The manometry will enable you doctor to see the muscular valve connecting your stomach with your esophagus. This valve is called the lower esophageal sphincter, abbreviated as LES. The LES valve can open and close to allow food and liquids to enter the stomach and prevent them from coming back up into the esophagus. A gastroenterologist will read the results of the manometry to determine abnormalities and to help formulate a treatment plan.

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