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Oesophageal manometry

Oesophageal manometry is a test to check that the nerves and muscles of the oesophagus work properly, often arranged as part of the process of diagnosing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

The test is done as an outpatient procedure, and lasts about an hour.

During the oesophageal manometry test, a tube is passed through the nose, along the back of the throat, down the oesophagus, and into the stomach.

A special nose spray is given first to help avoid discomfort and to prevent the sneezing reflex.

How does oesophageal manometry work?

Your oesophagus moves food from your throat down to your stomach with a wave-like motion called peristalsis. Manometry will indicate how well the oesophagus can perform peristalsis. Manometry also allows your doctor to examine the muscular valve connecting the oesophagus with the stomach, called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS). 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 oesophagus.

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

What happens before the oesophageal manometry test?

Before you have an oesophageal manometry test, make sure you tell your 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 medicines.

Can I continue to take medicine before oesophageal manometry?

There are some medicines that may interfere with oesophageal manometry.

It is very important that you talk to your doctor about all the medications you are taking prior to your test.

Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.

Can I eat or drink before oesophageal manometry?

You should not eat or drink anything for eight hours before an oesophageal manometry.

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