What is Esophageal Manometry?

Esophageal Manometry is a test that helps doctors measure the force and coordination of your esophagus. Here’s what you need to know about the test.

When it is used

Esophageal Manometry tests whether your esophagus is working correctly. Your esophagus is a smooth muscular tube that pushes food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Every time you swallow, your esophagus contracts and helps move everything to your stomach. Your esophagus can have trouble functioning correctly if you have certain disorders.

There are a few scenarios in which this test may be used. If your primary symptoms are pain while swallowing or a difficulty swallowing, your doctor will likely recommend other testing (like an Upper Endoscopy). Your doctor may recommend you undergo Esophageal Manometry if you present symptoms that could be due to an esophageal disorder. These disorders include Scleroderma, Achalasia, and diffuse esophageal spasms. Additionally, if your doctor is considering surgery to treat your GERD, esophageal manometry can help diagnose Achalasia or Scleroderma, both of which can’t be treated surgically. Also, if you are experiencing chest pain unrelated to your heart and are unresponsive to GERD treatment, this test can help identify the cause of the pain.

Preparing for Esophageal Manometry

You should not eat or drink during the 6 hours before the test. This is because an empty stomach helps your doctor perform the safest and most effective test. Additionally, you should discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor. Some medications can affect esophageal pressure, and should be discontinued before the test.

During the test

You will not be under a general anaesthetic during the testing. However, a topical anaesthetic will be used in your nose and a numbing spray will be used in your throat. Your doctor will pass a thin tube (catheter) through one of your nostrils and down into your esophagus. You may gag briefly as this happens. Once the catheter is placed, you may be asked to lie on your back. Next, you will swallow small sips of water as directed by your doctor. The catheter will help measure the pressure your esophagus exerts as you do this. You will need to breathe slowly and smoothly during the test, remaining still and following your doctor’s instructions. The test takes around 30 minutes in total.

After the test

Following the test, there are a few mild symptoms you may experience. These include a sore throat, a nosebleed, and a stuffy nose. These should resolve in a few hours. You can immediately resume normal activities after your testing, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If you experience any lasting or unusual symptoms, contact your doctor.

Side effects from Esophageal Manometry are very rare. These include aspiration, an irregular heartbeat, and perforation of the esophagus.

Our experienced team at GHP has years of experience performing Esophageal Manometry. We can help establish the best plan of care for your situation. Contact any of our office locations to learn about the options we offer and schedule an appointment today.

A Quick Summary of Esophagitis

Esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus. Here’s what you need to know about the condition.


Esophagitis can be caused by various things. One of the most common causes is reflux. Reflux occurs when stomach acid backflows into the esophagus. A condition called GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease) causes this to happen recurrently, and is a likely culprit for esophagitis in many cases. GERD can cause chronic inflammation over time. Infection can also cause esophagitis in rarer cases, mostly in people with diminished immune system function.

Oral medications can also cause inflammation in the esophagus if they are incontact with the esophagus for too long. This can happen if you take oral medications without enough liquid, oral medications that are irregularly shaped or large, if you take medications immediately before sleeping, or if you take them lying down. These medications include pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin, and some antibiotics.

Symptoms of Esophagitis

Several symptoms occur with this condition. These include difficulty swallowing, heartburn, chest pain occurring with eating, acid regurgitation, and a sore throat. Over time, irritation can cause tissue damage and ulcers can form. Additionally, strictures can occur with continued irritation. Strictures are a narrowing of the esophagus caused by a buildup of scar tissue. This leads to further difficulties with swallowing.

Diagnosing Esophagitis

There are a few different tests doctors use to diagnose esophagitis. They often perform a physical examination and review your medical history to identify symptoms that could indicate the condition. Additionally, they may perform a barium x-ray. For this test, patients drink a solution containing barium that coats the esophagus and makes it visible for imaging. Then, doctors take an x-ray to visualize the esophagus and identify any abnormalities. They may perform an endoscopy to look at the esophagus and biopsy tissue for a diagnosis. Biopsy tests can diagnose infections and identify any precancerous or cancerous cells.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating esophagitis involves treating symptoms, lowering the risk of complications, and treating the underlying cause. In cases of reflux esophagitis, some over the counter medications can help reduce acid production and heal the esophagus. There are also prescription medications available, including some proton pump inhibitors, H-2 receptor blockers, and prokinetics. Surgery may also be required in some cases. This involves wrapping part of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter to strengthen it and help prevent acid reflux. Last, in cases where a stricture has formed, doctors can perform an esophageal dilation to widen the esophagus.

For cases of drug-induced esophagitis, avoiding the drug causing the inflammation and changing the way you take medication can help. There are also alternative drugs you can take that won’t cause inflammation. Plus, by simply drinking water with medication and standing or sitting upright for 30 minutes after taking a pill, you can avoid causing some inflammation. Last, in cases of infectious esophagitis, doctors can prescribe medications to treat the underlying cause of infection.

Our experienced team at GHP has years of experience treating conditions including esophagitis. We can help establish the best plan of care for your situation. Contact any of our office locations to learn about the options we offer and schedule an appointment today.