Esophageal manometry is a test used to measure the functionality of muscles of the esophagus(food pipe). The function of the lower esophageal sphincter (a valve made of tiny muscle that prevents reflux or backward flow of gastric acid into the food pipe) is measured using esophageal manometry. This test will tell your doctor whether your food pipe is capable of moving food normally from your mouth to your stomach.
An esophageal manometry test is commonly indicated to those with
- Swallowing problems
- Pain while swallowing
- Regurgitation and/or heartburn (bringing food back up after swallowing it)
- Pain in the chest
A flexible tube is inserted into your nose, down your food pipe, and into your stomach. The tube does not interfere with your breathing. While the tube is being inserted, you will be standing. Placing the tube takes about a minute. You may experience some discomfort at first, but most patients respond to the tube's presence quickly. When the tube is inserted, regurgitation and coughing can occur. You will be asked to lie on your left side after the tube has been inserted. The end of the tube that exits your nose is attached to a computer that tracks how much pressure is applied to it. Sensors embedded in the tubing measure the resistance of the lower esophageal sphincter and food pipe muscles.