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Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal manometry, an esophageal motility (movement) study, is an important part of the evaluation process for patients who may have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).

Esophageal Manometry: Why It’s Performed

An esophageal manometry cannot diagnose GERD, but doctors use it in order to rule out other conditions that mimic GERD. This is especially important if your doctor is considering an anti-reflux surgery.

Esophageal Manometry: What to Expect

You may undergo esophageal manometry right before esophageal pH studies. The manometry helps determine the level of the esophagus where your doctor should place the pH probe.

During an esophageal manometry:

  1. We spray your throat with a numbing medication or numbing gel.
  2. Your doctor guides a small tube into your nostril, then passes it to the throat and finally to the esophagus.
  3. The pressure-sensitive catheter evaluates the strength and coordination of your muscle contractions.
  4. The catheter also tests the strength and relaxation function of the lower esophageal sphincter.
  5. When the test is over, we slowly remove the catheter.
Patient set-up and technique of manometry. Patient set-up and technique of manometry.

Esophageal manometry does not require sedation and is generally performed as an outpatient procedure. You can return to your normal activities immediately after the test.