The healthy functioning of the oesophagus is relatively complicated. There are bands of muscle, ‘sphincters’, at the top and bottom of the oesophagus, as well as nerves and muscles running the entire length of the oesophagus. These nerves and muscles all need to work together in a coordinated way for swallowing to be effective. Conditions of a neurological or muscular nature can impair this normal functioning and result in swallowing problems or secondary oesophageal reflux.
These tests provide your physician with important information regarding how well the oesophagus contracts to move food and fluid down, and how much acid is coming back up so in order to determine the best treatment for your condition.
Difficulty swallowing (‘dysphagia’) is very common. Once a structural problem has been ruled out, the next step is diagnosing a problem is through an oesophageal manometry.
Oesophageal manometry measures the pressures in the oesophagus when food is being squeezed down. It tests the strength and coordination of peristalsis of the oesophagus as well as the function of both the upper and lower oesophageal sphincters.
The test is performed at the clinic and requires no preparation. Important steps include:
Data is then collected and applied to standardized criteria to make the help make the right diagnosis.