Esophageal and Anorectal Manometry Testing

Mature doctor explaining liver problems


Esophageal Manometry Testing

Manometry testing is a procedure that measures the force and coordination of smooth muscles within the body.  There are two types of manometry testing:  esophageal and anorectal. Esophageal manometry measures the strength and function of the muscles in the esophagus, which works to push food and liquid down to the stomach. The test is used to evaluate the cause of reflux of the stomach acid and contents back into the esophagus as well as to determine the cause of swallowing problems. 


Esophageal Manometry Testing Complications

Esophageal manometry is generally safe and complications are rare.  You might have some mild transient discomfort during the test such as gagging with the passage of tubing, watery eyes of discomfort In your nose or throat, which usually subside.   

Doctor wearing a mask


Preparing for Esophageal Manometry Testing

  • You will need to be NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for at least 8 hours before the procedure. 
  • Some medications may NOT be taken on the day of the test until the testing is complete. These include:
    • Pain medications such as Percocet, Tramadol, Morphine, Dilaudid, Oxycodone, Codeine, Hydrocodone or Vicodin
    • Sedative or anxiety medications such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin or Amitriptyline 
    • Promotility medications such as Reglan, Erythromycin or Domperidone
  • Other medications may be taken up to two hours before the procedure with a small sip of water.  
  • If you are diabetic, do not take any of your oral medications or aspart. Please take 50% of your normal glargine dose. Please consult your diabetes provider for individualized instructions or if you are a Type 1 Diabetic. 
  • If you have a question about which of your medications to take, please ask ahead of time. 
  • Please check in at least 45 min. prior to your procedure time. 
  • If you are allergic to latex, please notify your nurse before beginning the test. 

What to Expect

What to Expect During Esophageal Manometry Testing

The tests take approximately 45 to 60 minutes. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. A technician or nurse will explain the procedure to you, take a brief health history, and answer any questions you may have.  

During the Procedure

What to expect during esophageal testing: 

  • The test is done on an outpatient basis without sedation. 
  • Your doctor will apply numbing medication in your nose and throat. 
  • A catheter is guided through your nose into your esophagus as you swallow.  It doesn’t interfere with your breathing. 
  • After the catheter is in place, you will swallow small sips of water as the computer connected to the catheter records the pressure, speed and pattern of your esophageal muscle contractions. 
  • Your doctor might move the catheter up or down in your stomach as the catheter continues its measurement. 
After the Procedure

After the Procedure

You can return to your normal activities after your esophageal manometry or anorectal manometry is completed.   


Esophageal and Anorectal Testing Specialists

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404