An esophageal manometry is a diagnostic test used to measure the pressure inside the lower part of the esophagus and determine if it is contracting properly. The esophagus is the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach. The esophageal manometry test also measures the muscle contractions and coordination within the esophagus when patients swallow. This test can help diagnose swallowing problems, or gastroesophageal reflux. Patients who may be suffering from heartburn, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain may be advised to undergo a esophageal manometry test.
A manometry test is performed by placing a tube through the mouth or nose and down into the stomach. Once in place, patients will be asked to swallow so the muscle contractions can be measured along the tube. A small sensor records each time the patient swallows. An esophageal manometry test also allows the doctor to examine the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, the muscular valve that connects the esophagus with the stomach.
The procedure usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes and the patient can return to regular diet and activities following the test. Some patients may experience temporary soreness in the throat after the esophageal manometry test.