Esophageal Manometry

What is esophageal manometry?

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, during and after esophageal manometry?

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 team 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.

Your child will need to sit upright on the bed for the procedure. If your child is given medicine to relax, they will wear a heart and oxygen monitor. Depending on your child's age, they may be given a numbing medicine inside the nose.

The tube will be slowly withdrawn from the esophagus. Afterward, your child will be asked to swallow sips of water, and measurements will be taken at each level of the esophagus.