Center for Digestive Diseases

UNM Hospitals Center
for Digestive Diseases

1001 Martin Luther King Ave. NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106

(505)272-2530 or

UNMH: (505)272-6839
CDD: (505)925-7849

Esophageal Manometry

What is esophageal manometry?

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

Why is esophageal manometry performed?

Esophageal manometry helps your doctor evaluate difficulty swallowing or chest pain.  It is the best test to evaluate the swallowing function of the esophagus and to test for achalasia.

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 call our endoscopy center at 505-925-6000.

Can I take my current medications?

Most medications can be continued as usual. Tell your doctor about your medications and your allergies.  If there are any medications that you are not sure about taking, please consult your doctor beforehand or call our endoscopy center at 505-925-6000.

What happens during esophageal manometry?

Patient Room

Esophageal manometry is an outpatient procedure that is well tolerated. You will not receive  sedation during the procedure.  A trained nurse experienced in placement of esophageal manometry probes will place a numbing gel in your nostril before the procedure.  The nurse will then gently insert a very thin flexible tube into the nostril and advance the tube into the esophagus.  Measurements of the pressures in your esophagus will be made during repeated swallows. The measurements will be recorded on a computer for later review by your doctor. The procedure itself usually takes approximately 30 minutes, although you should plan to be at our endoscopy center for approximately one hour. This will include the registration, preparation and procedure.

What happens after esophageal manometry?

You will be able to drive yourself home after esophageal manometry.  The measurements recorded by the computer will be carefully analyzed by your doctor.  It may take from several days to two weeks for your doctor to review and interpret the information and contact you with results.

What are possible complications of esophageal manometry?

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