During esophageal manometry a thin tube containing pressure sensors is passed through a nostril to the back of the throat and then into the esophagus. The tube is connected to a computer that records the pressure in the esophagus as it contracts. Pressure readings are taken at the lower esophageal sphincter, where the esophagus joins the stomach, and in the esophagus itself during swallowing and at rest. The tube is removed immediately after all the necessary readings are obtained.
Esophageal manometry is required in some patients with esophageal reflux who are considering endoscopic or surgical therapy. It may also be done to investigate certain swallowing disorders.
Esophageal manometry is performed at Marin General Hospital by registered nurses who are specialists in gastroenterology procedures. A gastroenterologist then interprets the results.