Esophageal Manometry

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Contact the Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center

  • 1-617-355-6055
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Locations

At Boston Children’s GI Motility Center, we offer advanced, high-resolution manometry procedures that provide your doctors with the most detail about your child’s condition possible. We perform high-resolution esophageal manometry with impedance, which allows the simultaneous measurement of the esophageal contractions and the flow of the fluid that is being ingested.

An esophageal manometry is a procedure in which a small flexible tube is placed into the nose and passed into the esophagus (food pipe). It's used to figure out how well your child's esophagus is working by measuring the pressure and coordination of the esophageal muscles. By gauging the strength of these muscles, doctors may learn more about your child's symptoms, like difficulty swallowing, chest pain or gastroesophageal reflux.

What Happens Before an Esophageal Manometry Test?

  • Your child must have an empty stomach for an esophageal manometry. A member of the gastroenterology or endoscopy staff will tell you how long before the procedure your child must stop eating and drinking.
  • You may have to stop giving your child certain medications for up to 48 hours before the procedure. A member of the gastroenterology program will call you to discuss specific preparation instructions for your child.
  • Let your child know the tube may cause some pressure and discomfort as it passes through the nose and could cause coughing, sneezing or gagging as the tube is passed.

What Happens During an Esophageal Manometry Test?

  • Your child will need to sit upright on the bed for the procedure. If your child is given medicine to make him or her relaxed for the procedure, he or she will wear a heart and oxygen monitor.
  • Depending on your child's age, he or she may be given a numbing medicine inside his or her nose.
  • The tube will be slowly withdrawn from the esophagus. Afterward, he or she will be asked to swallow sips of water, and measurements will be taken at each level of the esophagus.

If you have any questions about an upcoming test, procedure or any other aspect of your child's treatment, please reach out to any member of your care team—he or she will be able to explain what to expect during your visit and share tips on how to make it as easy as possible.

Make an Appointment

For an appointment, more information or to obtain a second opinion for your child, please contact the Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center at 617-355-6055 or request an appointment online.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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