Esophageal Manometry

What is Esophageal Manometry?

Esophageal manometry (muh-NOM-uh-tree) is a test that shows whether your esophagus is working properly. The esophagus is a long, muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Esophageal manometry measures the rhythmic muscle contractions that occur in your esophagus when you swallow. Esophageal manometry also measures the coordination and force exerted by the muscles of your esophagus. This test will tell your doctor if your esophagus is able to move food to your stomach normally.

How is the test performed?

  • While you are sitting up, a member of your health care team sprays your throat with a numbing medication or puts numbing gel in your nose or both.
  • A catheter is guided through your nose into your esophagus. The catheter may be sheathed in a water-filled sleeve. It doesn’t interfere with your breathing. However, your eyes may water, and you may gag. You may have a slight nosebleed from irritation.
  • After the catheter is in place, you may be asked to lie on your back on an exam table, or you may be asked to remain seated.
  • You then swallow small sips of water. As you do, a computer connected to the catheter records the pressure, strength and pattern of your esophageal muscle contractions.
  • During the test, you’ll be asked to breathe slowly and smoothly, remain as still as possible, and swallow only when you’re asked to do so.
  • A member of your health care team may move the catheter down into your stomach while the catheter continues its measurements.
  • The catheter then is slowly withdrawn.

The test usually lasts about 30 minutes.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (925) 627-3492