Skip to content

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Select An Article

Esophageal Manometry

Font Size

Esophageal manometry is an outpatient test used to identify problems with movement and pressure in the esophagus that may lead to problems like heartburn. The esophagus is the "food pipe" leading from the mouth to the stomach. Manometry measures the strength and muscle coordination of your esophagus when you swallow.

During the manometry test, a thin, pressure-sensitive tube is passed through the nose, along the back of the throat, down the esophagus, and into the stomach.

Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

Understanding Hiatal Hernia -- Prevention

To help prevent symptoms of a hiatal hernia: Wear loose clothing. Anything that presses on the stomach can aggravate hiatal hernia symptoms. When your stomach is full, avoid bending over or lying down. This increases abdominal pressure and makes heartburn more likely. Do not bend over or lie down for two to three hours after eating. Raise the head of the bed six to eight inches by using wooden blocks under the bedposts. To help prevent hiatal hernia: Maintain a healthy...

Read the Understanding Hiatal Hernia -- Prevention article > >

Who Would Get Esophageal Manometry?

The esophageal manometry test may be given to people who have the following conditions:

How Does Esophageal Manometry Work?

Your esophagus moves food from your throat down to your stomach with a wave-like motion called peristalsis. Manometry will indicate how well the esophagus can perform peristalsis. Manometry also allows the doctor to examine the muscular valve connecting the esophagus with the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. This valve relaxes to allow food and liquid to enter the stomach. It closes to prevent food and liquid from moving out of the stomach and back up the esophagus.

Abnormalities with peristalsis and LES function may cause symptoms such as swallowing difficulty, heartburn, or chest pain. Information obtained from manometry may help doctors to identify the problem. The information is also very important for surgery to treat reflux.

What Happens Before the Esophageal Manometry Test?

Before you have an esophageal manometry test, be sure to tell the doctor if you are pregnant, have a lung or heart condition, have any other medical problems or diseases, or if you are allergic to any medications.

Can I Continue to Take Medication Before Esophageal Manometry?

There are some medications that may interfere with esophageal manometry.

It is very important that you talk to your doctor about all drugs you are taking prior to your test. Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your doctor.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
 
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
 
digestive health
Slideshow
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Article
 
heartburn
Article
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Video
 
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
Video
digestive myths
Slideshow
 
Extreme Eats
Slideshow
graphic of esophageal area
Article