Oesophageal manometry is an examination used to measure pressures throughout the oesophagus and the extent of closing or opening of the inferior oesophageal sphincter which separates the oesophagus from the stomach. It can also be used to detect specific abnormalities. It is performed in a hospital by a gastroenterologist.
Oesophageal manometry- the process
The examination is particularly used in patients suffering from swallowing problems. It is also performed within some surgical procedures, for a hiatus hernia or gastro-oesophageal acid reflux. In addition, it provides information in dysphagia (a blocking feeling during swallowing), for chest pain of non-cardiac origin, in some neuromuscular diseases, and in the auto-immune disease scleroderma.
After administering local anaesthesia through the nostrils, the doctor introduces a small tube into the nostrils and slides it into the oesophagus. The patient is semi-seated or seated and is asked to swallow a few mouthfuls of water regularly, together with some bread. These actions enable the doctor to measure the functioning of the oesophagus. The procedure lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Possible risks of oesophageal manometry
A local reaction to the anaesthetic drugs may occur. In addition, the nose or pharynx may become irritated for a short period of time and brief bleeding may occur.
- Vaudois Hospital Centre, Lausanne, 24 August 2010;
- Groupe d'exercice libéral des maladies de l'appareil digestif (Gelmad), 18 February 2011.
Oesophageal manometry is used in people with swallowing problems. © Phovoir
Oesophageal manometry - 1 Photo