Overview

The esophagus, a muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach, contracts with each swallow and moves food downward into the stomach. Abnormalities in the strength of the muscle, the LES, and/or contractions can cause heartburn, pain, and difficulty swallowing. Esophageal manometry is used to diagnose conditions that cause these symptoms.

Preparation

Follow all instructions provided by your doctor to prepare for testing. Typically, it is best for the examination to be done on an empty stomach (no food or drink for 6 hours prior to the procedure). It is important to disclose all medications taken on a regular basis, including over the counter medicines and herbal supplements.

The Test

A thin, flexible tube is inserted down through the nose through the esophagus and into the stomach. This may be uncomfortable but is not painful. The other end of the tube is attached to a computer. As the tube is slowly pulled out of the esophagus, the computer measures the pressure at varying places along the way.