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Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal Manometry is a test that shows whether your esophagus is working properly. The esophagus is a long, muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Esophageal manometry measures the muscle contractions that occur in your esophagus when you swallow. The test will indicate to your doctor if your esophagus is able to move food to your stomach normally.

The test may be ordered if you have symptoms of:

  • Heartburn or nausea after eating (gastro esophageal reflux disease, or GERD)
  • Problems swallowing (feeling like food is stuck behind the breast bone area)

During esophageal manometry, a thin, pressure-sensitive tube is passed through your nose, down the esophagus, and into your stomach. Before the procedure, you receive numbing medication inside your nose. This helps make the insertion of the tube less uncomfortable.

After the tube is in the stomach, the tube is pulled slowly back into your esophagus. At this time, you are asked to swallow. The pressure of the muscle contractions is measured along several sections of the tube.

While the tube is in place, other studies of the esophagus may be performed. The tube is removed after the tests are complete. The esophageal manometry test takes about an hour.