Edinburgh Gastroenterology
...tradition at the leading edge
Tradition at the leading edge, from Edinburgh Gastroenterologists

Information on Gastrointestinal Investigations

Understanding Oesophageal Manometry

What is oesophageal manometry?

Oesophageal manometry is an outpatient procedure that allows your doctor to examine the swallowing function of your oesophagus. A thin flexible tube with pressure sensors is inserted into your nostril and advanced into your oesophagus and pressures are measured during swallows.

Why is oesophageal manometry performed?

Oesophageal manometry helps your doctor evaluate difficulty swallowing or chest pain. It also needs to be performed before 24hour studies for gastro-oesophageal reflux.

What preparation is required?

An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination. Therefore, you should have nothing to eat or drink for six hours before your procedure. If you have any questions about dietary recommendations, please contact the number on your appointment letter.

Can I take my current medications?

Some medications need to be stopped before the test. Tell your doctor about your medications and your allergies. You will be informed in your appointment letter which if any medications need to be withheld, and for how long. If you have any questions about your medication please contact the number on your appointment letter.

What happens during oesophageal manometry?

Oesophageal manometry is an outpatient procedure that is generally well tolerated. You will not receive sedation during the procedure. A local anaesthetic is first sprayed into your nostril, then the manometry catheter is inserted gently and the tube advanced slowly into the oesophagus. Measurements of the pressures in your oesophagus are then made both during a period when you are not swallowing, and during repeated swallows. The measurements are recorded on a computer for later review. The whole procedure itself usually takes approximately 20-30 minutes, although you should plan to be at the unit for approximately one hour. This will include the registration, preparation and procedure.

What happens after oesophageal manometry?

You will be able to drive yourself home after oesophageal manometry. The measurements recorded on the computer will be carefully analysed by your doctor. It may take up to two weeks for your doctor to contact you or see you back with the results.

What are possible complications of oesophageal manometry?

Oesophageal manometry is very safe when performed by trained and experienced staff. Complications are rare. Patients may have nasal irritation during or after the procedure.


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