Esophageal Manometry

What is Esophageal Manometry?

Esophageal manometry helps diagnose conditions relating to trouble swallowing such as achalasia, esophageal spasms, and ineffective esophageal motility. It provides valuable information about the muscular activity of the esophagus.

Why would I need this?

Esophageal manometry is used to check whether the muscles in the esophagus are working properly. When the muscles don’t work as they should, you may experience symptoms such as heartburn, trouble or pain when swallowing, chest pain and regurgitation (food coming back up after swallowing). Esophageal manometry helps determine what is causing these symptoms, which could be conditions such as:

  • Achalasia (esophagus muscles don’t help move food down and prevent food from entering the stomach)
  • Diffuse esophageal spasm (esophagus muscles contract randomly and interfere with swallowing)
  • Scleroderma (a rare disease that may cause some esophagus muscles to stop moving)

Esophageal manometry can also be performed in preparation for esophageal surgery or to follow up and assess function after surgery.

What happens during the Esophageal Manometry?

During esophageal manometry, a thin, flexible tube with pressure sensors is passed through your nose or mouth into your esophagus. You will be asked to swallow water while the sensors measure muscle contractions and pressure.

What should I prepare for the procedure?

Typically, eating and drinking must be avoided for at least 8 hours before the test. Be sure to tell your Doctor Patel about any medications and supplements you take. Dr. Patel will let you know if you need to change when and how you take them the day before or the day of esophageal manometry. (If you have diabetes, skipping breakfast may affect your need for medication.)

What happens after the procedure?

After esophageal manometry, you can resume your normal activities and diet. Dr. Patel will analyze the test results and discuss the findings with you, along with any necessary treatment options.


Kumkum Patel MD, MPH

Board-certified Gastroenterologist.
IBS and Motility Specialist

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