What is oesophageal manometry?
The oesophagus is a tube that connects your mouth with your stomach. The walls of the oesophagus are very muscular, and contract (squeeze) rhythmically when you swallow to help move food and liquids into your stomach. This action is called peristalsis.
In some people these contractions do not work properly. In such cases, a test known as oesophageal manometry may be needed to help diagnose the problem. Difficulty swallowing may be experienced if the contractions of your oesophagus are too weak or irregular, while chest pain may result if the contractions are too strong.
This test will measure how well the muscles and nerves in your oesophagus work.
What to expect during your oesophageal manometry?
A thin soft tube is passed through your nose or mouth and into the oesophagus. The tube has pressure sensors along its wall and, when in place, can measure the pressure that is produced by the oesophageal muscles when relaxing or squeezing.
You will be asked to take small sips of water so that the pressures during the swallowing action can be recorded and analysed using a computer.
Anaesthesia is generally not required for the procedure, although anaesthetic spray may, if necessary, be used on your throat to minimise discomfort.
Once all the information has been gathered the tube is removed and the test is completed. The whole procedure generally takes about an hour, although a complete analysis of the test results may take several days.