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The esophagus is a pivotal portion of the digestive system, as it helps to move food and drink down to your stomach when you swallow. Individuals who are experiencing issues with swallowing or have acid reflux may require a test known as an esophageal manometry to diagnose swallowing conditions. At Centers for Gastroenterology, our skilled team offers this test for quick and accurate diagnosis. 

What is Esophageal Manometry?

Esophageal manometry is a swallowing test that shows whether the esophagus is working properly to move food to the stomach. The esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Muscles in the esophagus move food down to the stomach when a person swallows. However, certain esophageal disorders can interfere with this process. Issues with the motor function of the esophagus are known as esophageal motility disorders.

Symptoms of esophageal motility disorders may include:

  • Painful or difficult swallowing
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Food coming back up (regurgitation)

Risks of Esophageal manometry

Esophageal manometry (motility) is generally safe, and complications are rare.

You might, however, have some discomfort during the test, including:

  • Gagging when the tube passes into your throat.
  • Watery eyes
  • Discomfort in your nose and throat

After the test is finished, you might have mild side effects, which typically resolve within hours. Side effects can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Minor nosebleed

Preparing for the Test

  • Do not eat food for at least 6 hours or drink clear liquids for at least 4 hours before the test or as instructed.
  • If you are diabetic, please bring your glucose meter, test strips, and a source of fast-acting glucose with you (such as glucose tablets or glucose gel).
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions concerning your medications.
  • Your doctor or nurse will provide you with other specific instructions. Please check with your doctor to ensure that you are not taking anything that may affect your study.

During the Test 

When you arrive the nurse will explain what will be done before, during and after the esophageal motility study. If you have any questions, please ask. 

The study involves having a small flexible tube gently inserted through your nose down the esophagus and into the stomach. Before placing the tube, your nose can be lightly anesthetized with a numbing gel. You may feel a little pressure in your nose or a minor amount of throat irritation as the tube is passed. This sensation should subside once the tube is positioned. The tube will be secured at your nose for the duration of the test.  

You will be asked to swallow fluids at different times during the study to evaluate the function of your esophagus. The tube will be removed at the conclusion of the test. 

You will be able to drive yourself home after the study. Your doctor will review the test results and discuss them with you later. 

Esophageal Manometry Recovery and Aftercare 

There is no downtime required following an esophageal manometry test. The results of an esophageal manometry test will give your physician specific information regarding what is going on in your esophagus when you swallow. In turn, this will allow them to recommend certain treatments.  


Next Steps

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Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Esophageal Manometry

To learn more about this test or to schedule an esophageal manometry, please contact Centers for Gastroenterology in Northern Colorado today. Your first step will be to contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our skilled providers.



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