An esophageal manometry test measures the movement and function of the esophagus and the valve muscle between the esophagus and stomach. The manometry test is a tool to help assess swallowing problems.
How Does the Esophagus Work?
The esophagus is the tube that carries food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. The wall of the esophagus contains muscles that contract in a wave-like motion when a person swallows. This moves food down the esophagus.
Another important part of the esophagus is the lower valve muscle. This muscle remains closed most of the time, only opening when swallowed food or liquid is moved down the esophagus or when a person belches or vomits. This muscle protects the lower esophagus from stomach acid and bile. These fluids cause the pain of heartburn and in time can lead to damage and scarring in the esophagus.
How is the Test Done?
A thin tube is passed through your mouth or nose and into your stomach. The inside of your nose will be numbed with lidocaine jelly. It will then pass into your stomach. You may gag. This is normal. The tube is pulled slowly back into the esophagus. It is important to tell your doctor if you have symptoms during the test.
When the tube is in the esophagus, you will be asked to swallow. The swallowing wave will be recorded.
The tube is removed when the test is done. You can expect the appointment to take 30 – 45 minutes, the procedure itself will last about 15 minutes.
Why is this Test Done?
There are a number of symptoms that begin in the esophagus. These include heartburn, problems swallowing food or liquid, and chest pain. The exam is often done before and after treatments to the esophagus.
One Week before Your Procedure:
Blood thinning medicines should be stopped as follows:
- No Effient®/Prasugrel for 7 days
- No Coumadin®/Warfarin for 5 days
- No Plavix®/Clopidogrel for 5 days
- No Iron for 5 days
- No Pradaxa®/Dabigatran for 2 days
Day of the Procedure
Do not eat any solid food after midnight the day of the exam. You may have clear liquids until 4 hours before you arrive.
Clear liquids include:
- Jell-O® with nothing in it
- Clear broth
- Carbonated sodas
- Clear juices (apple, grape or cranberry)
- Weak tea or coffee with no creamer;
Do not take these medicines the day of the procedure:
- nifedipine (Procardia® )
- diltiazem (Cardizem®)
- verapamil (Calan®)
- nitrate medicine (nitroglycerin, isosorbide, Isordil®)
- tegasarod maleate (Zelnorm®)
- metoclopramide hydrochloride (Reglan®)
Call the Digestive Health Center (608) 890-5000 if you have questions regarding your medicines.
Follow the arrival and registration instructions in your cover letter. If you are delayed, call us at (608) 890-5000 to let us know you are going to be late. If you are over 30 minutes late, we may have to cancel and reschedule. We do our best to stay on time.
After the Procedure
Your doctor will talk over the results with you before you leave. You may return to your normal eating pattern and activity when you are done with the test.
How to Contact Us
Digestive Health Center, 8am to 5pm weekdays, (608) 890-5000.
After clinic hours, please call (608) 890-5000. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live outside of the Madison area, please call 1-855-342-9900.
UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
GI Procedure Clinic
600 Highland Avenue
Meriter Hospital Digestive Health Center
202 S. Park Street
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The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/24/2013
Copyright © 04/11/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4370
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