Esophageal Manometry Testing in Chicago

GI Solutions of Illinois will often perform an esophageal manometry for patients who appear to have a dysfunction of the esophagus. This test analyzes the movements of the esophagus to determine if the muscles are contracting properly to transport food from the mouth to the stomach.

How the Test Is Administered

During an esophageal manometry, a catheter will be carefully threaded by our gastroenterologist through the patient’s nose all the way down to the stomach. Once in place, this thin, flexible tube will begin collecting data about the tissues surrounding it. This is made possible by the many pressure sensors that are located within the catheter. In order to track movements of the esophagus, your physician will instruct you to swallow small sips of water.

It is normal for individuals to experience some discomfort during the test as the catheter is moving through the esophagus. The procedure itself is very safe and rarely results in any sort of complications once it is complete.

The Purpose of an Esophageal Manometry

This particular test is often recommended if patients experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Chest pain

These symptoms often occur as a result of an esophageal condition. Common problems of the esophagus include dysphasia, achalasia, scleroderma, esophageal spasms, and GERD.

Many of these conditions are linked specifically to a dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which expands and contracts when allowing food to enter the stomach. If there is a problem with the LES, it is likely for individuals to experience difficulty in getting food past the band of tissue, or for their food to easily spill out of the stomach and travel back up through the esophagus.

Interpretation of Your Esophageal Manometry Results

It typically takes one to two days before patients receive notice from one of our gastroenterologists about the outcome of their esophageal manometry. These results will hopefully lead to answers about the patient’s esophageal health, which may be affected by one of the common conditions mentioned above.

An esophageal manometry can also be part of standard protocol before a patient undergoes surgery to correct a known esophageal issue. This preliminary test is completed to rule out similar conditions that can lead to identical symptoms, which of course will not be possible to correct using a treatment meant for a totally separate problem of the esophagus.

Additional Details

If you have questions regarding an upcoming esophageal manometry test, please contact GI Solutions to speak with your physician. It is very important that you follow all of their directions carefully prior to your test, as certain medications and activities can interfere with your results.